This course introduces some of the fundamental principles of accessibility and prepares learners for further study in accessibility and inclusive design. Learners will have an opportunity to explore the major types of disabilities and related assistive technology and adaptive strategies, the most salient contours of the legal landscape, and the major principles that guide universal design and accessible content creation. Spotlight guest videos will highlight firsthand perspectives on disability, as well as topics like disability etiquette, universal design and universal design for learning, accommodation in higher education, campus accessibility policy, and accessibility in a corporate setting.
You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
Module 1: Understanding Disability and Assistive Technology
This module will give you a basic understanding of some of the major disability types (visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive), their main functional challenges, and some of the related assistive technologies. You’ll also get valuable firsthand perspectives on disabilities and assistive technology from people with different disabilities, including a spirited panel discussion on disability etiquette from a team of disability experts.
Module 2: The Legal Landscape and the Workplace
In this module, you’ll develop a basic understanding of some of the key legislation that impacts accessibility. From the workplace perspective, you’ll have an opportunity to explore some insightful firsthand occupation-specific perspectives from a web developer, a media specialist, an instructional designer, and a computer science instructor. Finally, you’ll get an insider’s view on accommodation from a team of accommodation specialists who handle document conversion, captioning, audio description, accessible document design, and testing accommodations.
Module 3: Universal Design
This module will give you a basic understanding of the seven principles of universal design and the roots of universal design in architecture. You’ll learn how universal design can be applied in a learning context through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and its inclusive design practices. Video interviews with recognized experts in the field will highlight insightful IT perspectives on universal design along with higher ed perspectives on Universal Design for Learning.
Module 4: Accessible Digital Materials
This module will give you an introduction to some of the major accessibility considerations that apply to common digital formats like HTML, MS Word, PDF, and PowerPoint. You’ll also learn some of the key accessibility considerations for multimedia, including areas like captioning and complex images. Helpful demos and hands-on activities will give you a clearer idea of how you can make your digital content more accessible.