Session 6 - Accessibility and Inclusive Design (June 2021 Cohort)

Hello, @june21-cohort! This week we’re going to shift away from team building focus of our last two session and take a look at accessibility and inclusive design. This is important to cover before diving further into creating, editing, and reviewing your content because these considerations should be foundational to all content you create. Not only will it make your resources more useful, it will also save you a lot of additional work later on trying to remediate content.

We’ll talk about what we mean by accessibility and inclusive design, take a look at how these considerations can be made at each stage of the publishing process, and share some simple strategies that you can apply to your projects.

Here are the links to this week’s handout and slides:

  1. Handout: Accessibility and Inclusive Design
  2. Slides: Accessibility and Inclusive Design

Regret that I have a schedule conflict Tuesday afternoon that might interfere with this week’s session. (information on healthcare starts at12:30; end time might be 2pm)

Of course I will join everyone if possible.

Thanks for sharing with us these resources on descriptive captioning and other accessibility considerations. These ideas are more important to so many students, not just those with dis-Abilities.

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Hi Bryan, tomorrow’s session looks great! Unfortunately no one from the HOME team will be able to make it to the session, but I will be sure to spend time with the slides and catch-up on my own time. Thanks again, Jessie

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No worries, @psutherland-cohen! I totally agree, when we think about accessibility with a broader definition, it makes a huge difference for so many students.

Thanks for the heads up, @JessieC! If you encounter any questions as you look through the materials from this week’s session, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Just so you know that I will be a few minutes late for the 1 to 2:30meeting and have to leave at 225pm from the meeting. I am borrowing a room at a library which has good WIFI vs the the place I am staying which has poor WIFI in the mountains where I am staying. So I have to live with some time restrictions

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No worries, @jmoritz! Thanks for the heads up and for making the extra effort to attend today!

Thanks for a great session this week, @june21-cohort! I hope the conversation on accessibility and inclusive design was helpful as you get started with creating content for your resources. I know it was a lot of information and can seem a bit overwhelming, but if you build this work into your processes from the start, you’ll save yourself a lot of additional work later on, and your resource will reflect the intentionality that you put into it. I know several of your teams have been meeting recently, so I would encourage you to revisit our Questions to Consider from this week and discuss with your teams.

Unfortunately, we didn’t grab the chat transcript this week, but here are the resources that were shared in the chat. If you recall any that are missing or managed to save a copy of the chat yourself, please let me know.

I also encourage you to revisit our slides and handout from this week because they contain links to a lot of great resources that you can consult as you’re building accessibility and inclusive design into your workflows. These can also be helpful with onboarding new contributors so that they too can take some ownership for this work. As we discussed, everyone should have some responsibility for accessibility and inclusive design.

Session Recap

This session, we explained terms like accessibility, inclusive design, remediation, and discussed how this all relates to open publishing and your OER creation project. Accessibility is often thought about as just being for students with disabilities, but as we see it, accessibility benefits all readers, even if implemented measures are designed for those at the margins or in smaller groups. It’s about ensuring that what you are making, whether it’s a website, drawing, video, etc. can be used and understood by all people, regardless of location, language, context, tools, disability, or more. It’s about reframing disability as a mismatch between an individuals’ requirements and a particular resource, product, or service. It’s about making sure everyone can have a part to play in making these resources. We can think of web accessibility, content accessibility, and even how this can extend into pedagogy.

Inclusive design is about flexible solutions that provide people the space to create their own paths and meet their needs. The three core dimensions of inclusive design are:

  1. Recognize diversity and uniqueness - Understand that a one-solution-fits-all approach will not work, rather, there is more value to a flexible solution that users can adapt.
  2. Inclusive process and tools - Teams should include individuals who have a lived experience of the users the designs are intended for. Equitable creation is one where you promote just and fair inclusion throughout society and create the conditions in which everyone can participate, prosper, and reach his or her full potential. Maha Bali said it best!
  3. Broader beneficial impact - Designing not only to ensure that certain needs are met, but in a way that that design can benefit a larger group. This is what’s often called the ‘curb-cut effect.’

Take a look at the Inclusive Design Research Center (IDRC) for more resources, tools, and principles.

Remember that both accessibility and inclusive design are inextricably tied to equity — as we reframe what disability means and how accessibility/inclusive design approaches can meet these requirements (IDRC).

Access is one of the fundamental principles of the open movement broadly. Given OERs’ digital-first nature, this is all the more relevant as resources should not only conform to web accessibility standards, but they should also be available for reading in offline and print formats. The Rebus approach to open publishing in particular is about opening up the opportunities for both creation and use to all people around the world, and being transparent about how it works so that anyone can replicate it. Working with a collaboratively developed process like ours ensures that community interests remain at the forefront, and that resources produced are ‘ready to use’ straight out of the box with little to no remediation required.

Remediation is the work done to a text to make it accessible to a particular student or set of students. This work is often expensive, and in the case with All Rights Reserved materials, may need to be repeated from institution to institution. As part of our open publishing processes, we can minimize the amount of work needed to remediate a book for students by ensuring our books are accessible from the moment of publication. This doesn’t need to be a lot of work — in fact, much of it is already baked into the stages we’ve discussed so far! Build this work in at each stage, rather than trying to retrofit it in the end. This intentional approach will lead not only to a more improved and impactful resource, but will change the way you use these materials with students.

As I mentioned, we’ll be launching into content creation with our session next week. I know you’re all eager to get into that work. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask (and to respond to each other when you have something to add). I’ll be moving over the course of the next few days, so I may be a little slow to respond, but I’ll be sure to get back to you. See you all next week!

Thanks for this recap- and all the links. Yes, hope some one did grab the chat. Those connections with others are such a nice part of Zoom-life ! See all next week

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