Page 15 - Campus Technology, May/June 2018
P. 15

Making Progress on Course Content Accessibility
New tools are helping colleges and universities tackle the accessibility of instructor-created content, student coursework, note-taking and more.
ALTHOUGH MOST UNIVERSITIES have just about mas- tered website accessibility, their efforts to make sure all course content can be accessed and used by students with disabilities have proved more chal- lenging. “We have been fighting this uphill battle of content accessibility for years, and we have been fighting it without knowing what is actually out there,” said Jeremy Olguin, accessible technology manager at California State University, Chico. “If you can’t inventory, you can’t manage.”
But new tools are providing more transparency into classroom document accessibility and automating some steps in making more accessible alter- natives available. For the past year, Chico State has been piloting Black- board Ally, a program that automatically runs all course materials through a checklist of common accessibility issues. Ally, which works with several learning management systems, then generates a range of more accessible alternatives for the instructor’s original and will make these available to all students in the course. These alternative accessible formats include Seman- tic HTML, audio, ePub and electronic braille. “The faculty members love that, because they don’t have to take an extra step,” Olquin said.
The deployment gives the Office of Accessible Technology and Services a campuswide view of accessibility issues. “We can look at departments or
Blackboard Ally’s accessibility checker

   13   14   15   16   17