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ERIC Number: EJ1002537
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-2156-7069
Adapting Online Learning Resources for All: Planning for Professionalism in Accessibility
McAndrew, Patrick; Farrow, Robert; Cooper, Martyn
Research in Learning Technology, v20 n4 p345-361 2012
Online resources for education offer opportunities for those with disabilities but also raise challenges on how to best adjust resources to accommodate accessibility. Automated reconfiguration could in principle remove the need for expensive and time-consuming discussions about adaptation. On the other hand, human-based systems provide much needed direct support and can help understand options and individual circumstances. A study was carried out within an EU-funded accessibility project at The Open University (OU) in parallel with studies at three other European universities. The study combined focus groups, user-testing, management consultation and student survey data to help understand ways forward for accessibility. The results reinforce a holistic view of accessibility, based on three factors: positioning the university as a positive provider to disabled students; developing processes, systems and services to give personal help; and planning online materials which include alternatives. The development of a model that helps organisations incorporate professionalism in accessibility is described, though challenges remain. For example, a recurrent difficulty in providing adequate self-description of accessibility needs implies that a completely automated solution may not be attainable. A more beneficial focus, therefore, may be to develop systems that support the information flow required by the human "in the loop." (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
Co-Action Publishing. Ripvagen 7, SE-175 64 Jarfalla, Sweden. Tel: +46-18-4951138; e-mail: info@co-action.net; Web site: http://www.co-action.net/journals/Journals_index.php?
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: European Union; United Kingdom