Session 6 — Accessibility and Inclusive Design

@feb20-cohort It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the halfway mark with our sixth session tomorrow on Accessibility and Inclusive Design! We’ll be meeting tomorrow at 9am ET (at our standard Zoom link). Don’t forget to use the password that was sent to you last week over Direct Message! If you’re having trouble getting in, please get in touch with me or @zoe.

Take a look at the resources we will refer to during tomorrow’s session:

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

I look forward to chatting with you all soon. :slight_smile:

I have already forgotten the password :(. So sorry! #COVID-19 cognitive overload!

Liza, no worries! I’ve sent you another DM with the password. :slight_smile: See you tomorrow!

I found a website that provided more information on the “link” discussion:

@feb20-cohort - thanks for another great session. Since we weren’t able to get through the full lesson today, I’m proposing that we pick up next week before our session on Content Creation. If possible, I’ll encourage us to keep the updates portion a bit shorter, around 30 minutes, which should leave us with enough time for the rest.

I also welcome your feedback — feel free to share it in the discussion thread here, or over DM, or with @zoe or @LeighKP if you felt more comfortable. We’re here to make these sessions to work for you, so your input is invaluable!

Lesson 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 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 for more resources, tools, and principles.

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! Take a look at how we breakdown different accessibility tasks throughout the publishing process in the slides.

Chat Transcript & Resources

The discussion in today’s chat was really good, so please take a look at the chat transcript. There were also lots of resources shared at today’s session, which I’ve compiled into a list:

I’ve promised to share a few more resources with individuals on the call, so you can expect me to follow-up in your project discussion spaces over the course of the week. :slight_smile:

Thanks, Daniel! This also seems to indicate that the default should be to have links open in the same window unless necessary. And if you’re doing so, to indicate with text and an icon.

@wrs15, I’d be curious to hear any follow-ups if you chat with the team at PSU who might be advocating for the reverse. This is a good conversation for us to keep going.

This is from our Ally group: “I spoke with one of the testers and the good news is that newer screenreaders are better able to detect new windows and tabs (i.e. when the link has a TARGET attribute).
However, not everyone has access to or uses the new options, so labeling links that open in new tabs/windows is still recommended”

They suggested this page from WCAG

Thanks, Wade! Good to hear about the features in new screen readers. I appreciate the reminder that not everyone will have access to these newer tools, so we should continue to label links that open in new windows. @Daniel-Hauptvogel, hope this offers some clarity!