What makes online learning accessible?

The designing of accessible online learning should include inclusion, removal of barriers and flexibility. The design of learning resources should cater for both current and future needs. Seale (2006) highlights elements of online learning that need to be made accessible and some ideas about the use of accessibility guidelines and standards. The list of elements Seale (2006) mentions as needing to be made accessible are;

  • Websites
  • Courseware
  • Library resources
  • Text documents
  • Presentation applications
  • Multimedia (Seale mentions how developers need to be wary of accessibility issues when using tools such as Flash or Java.)

Have any new elements emerged since the book was written?

The following is a list of elements which may have emerged before 2006 but still I feel as not being represented by those listed by Seale.

  • Online communication and collaborative tools e.g. blogs, wikis, LMS and video conferencing. I think that each of these tools, rather than the parent website, need to be accessible.
  • Mobile learning apps
  • Educational games
  • Digital assessment tools
  • Simulations (e.g. through educational software)
  • E-books, Digital Talking Books and other digital publications
  • Apart from the interactive whiteboards hardware, its’ software and the activities created through it, need also be accessible.

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