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ERIC Number: ED593920
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Access and Accessibility in Online Learning: Issues in Higher Education and K-12 Contexts. From "OLC Outlook: An Environmental Scan of the Digital Learning Landscape"
McAlvage, Katherine; Rice, Mary
Online Learning Consortium
Accessibility in K-12 and higher education is becoming an increasingly complex terrain to traverse as schools increase online materials and instructional delivery options. This white paper provides an overview of critical terms, legal precedents, and other considerations for course designers, instructors, and administrators as they work to improve the educational experiences of learners with disabilities. Key questions around accessibility include the following: (1) How do national laws that govern disability access apply to online courses?; (2) What case law exists to guide online course design and delivery in various educational settings?; (3) What issues emerge regarding online course access that might be unique to higher education and to K-12 settings? What issues are shared?; and (4) What support do online course designers need in order to generate accessible courses for learners across the life span (from K-12 to higher education)? The first section of this white paper provides definitions for concepts related to accessibility in digital educational environments. Second, accessibility in online course design from both practical and policy perspectives are elaborated for both higher education and K-12 education. Helpful references and resources -- including active online communities of practice -- are provided at the end of the document.
Online Learning Consortium, Inc. PO Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950. Tel: 617-716-1414; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Research Center for Digital Learning and Leadership
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana; Ohio; Massachusetts (Boston); California (Berkeley)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504); Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title II; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A