- Which approach could you take in your role?
It is difficult to use the first two approaches as in the institution for which the online learning resource has been created disabled users are not ‘identifiable’. Moreover there are no accessibility experts working at the institution and hiring them may be costly.
The online learning resource may be evaluated by assessing its conformance to checklists and/or guidelines. In fact the site I created may be evaluated by using WCAG-1 or WCAG-2 as benchmarks. I have used these’
Moreover, I have used a couple of online websites which provide automated feedback;
- Headings map test; https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/headingsmap/
- Juicy Studio Accessibility Toolbar https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/juicy-studio-accessibility-too/ colour contrast and table tests
- Wave toolbar – accessibility test
Windows Narrator was also used. This evidenced problems as the Googlesite uses frames/panes.
To my knowledge there are no assistive hardware technologies available in my institution, therefore it is very difficult to test accessibility through these. Still available assistive technologies as those found in Windows operating systems or free online applications may allow me to focus the testing for specific accessibility issues.
- Which approaches could you ask someone else in your organisation to do?
As mentioned previously, the limitations found will limit what type of accessibility testing may be done.
- Which approaches would be appropriate for a large virtual learning environment (VLE) such as the one used for this module?
A combination of evaluation tools and manual testing may be the most appropriate. Moreover a team of experts in the field may provide needed expertise. Still, the chosen approach need to considered feasible by the administration.
Still I think that rather than the actual content what needs to be evaluated in a VLE is the tools and functionality which make up the VLE. How the content is developed in a VLE is much dependent on the actual tools making up the VLE and the functionality that administrators allow teachers and users to use.