Universal Design and Section 508 Compliance in Distance Education |The Assistive Technology Intiative Office provides various FREE tools to help make your Distance Education Class more accessible.
Accessibility in the World of Distance Education
Documents that may be of interest in understanding the regulations and guidelines for building Accessibility into the Digital Classroom. ATI is working with the Distance Education team to ensure accessibility in the classroom.
Mason Accessibility Standards
Section 508 Standards, Part of the Rehabiliation Act broken down to simplified questions.
Mason Distance Education Accessibility Document
Virginia Information Teachnology Agency (VITA) Accessibility Standard
Captioning Accessibility Challenges and Solutions
A document describing helpful ideas for accessibility.
Technical Guidelines for Digital Learning Content
A helpful document describing helpful ideas for accessibility.
How-To-Guide for Creating Accessible Online Content
For additional information please visit our Resource Page or contact our office.
Universal Design and Section 508 Compliance in Distance Education
- Real Connections: Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone [VIDEO] Video presentation providing guidelines for designing Internet-based distance learning courses to fully include all students, including those with disabilities. The presentation is open-captioned and audio-described to assure access to the content for viewers who are deaf or blind, respectively.
- Accessibility built in - “Learning anytime, Learning anywhere”
- The course taking experience needs to be the same for all – Designed and delivered “Equal Access”
- DE accessibility is a shared University responsibility, Faculty are responsible for ensuring their class is equal access, ATI and Instruction Designers are here to help, contact us for more information.
- Must take steps to ensure accessibility - Access includes:
- Audio, video accessibility (captions and/or video description)
- Often reading the slide in addition to having notes from presentation or full links available helps the accessibility and equal access to all information. Other helpful hints may be to run video through software, available at ATI, to create transcripts for captioned videos. Writing scripts to read from for your class prior to recording, or using Dragon Naturally Speaking to create a script while you’re recording helps ensure accuracy of a transcript.
- Accessible webpages, content and documents (PowerPoint, Word, PDF,etc.)
- An accessible document is one that is tagged and created so individuals using adaptive software can still access all the information. For example, instead of saving a document as a PDF imagine, running OCR software so that it is text. Ensuring headers, tables, images, etc. are named properly. Tagging imagines, describing informational images such as graphs, tagging presentation images to not be seen by assistive technology, etc.
- Having an accessible document to view or download separately, in addition to recording it using various screen capture technology (Camtasia, Captivate, Presenter, etc.) helps with accessibility. This allows users to access the accessible document and retrieve information they may otherwise not receive through the video recording. ATI has tools to help make these documents accessible and cuts down on time.
- Alternate formats considered (Braille, Large Print, accessible electronic copy, etc.), contact the Assistive Technology Initiative (ATI) Office for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 993-4329
- Ensure usability and compliance with state laws.
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The Assistive Technology Intiative Office provides various FREE tools to help make your Distance Education Class more accessible.
**Flash player or Quicktime is needed to view these videos**
Illinois Accessibility Wizard - Help in making Microsoft Word and PowerPoint Documents accessible. We have free licenses of this product. For more information please contact our office.
Visit the company's website for more detailed information: Virtual508
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PAW: PDF Accessibility Wizard - Help in making accessible PDFs using Microsoft Word. The convenience of using Microsoft Word but the security and accessibility of a PDF. We have free licenses of this product. For more information please contact our office. VIDEO COMING SOON
- Video Tutorial and Training on how to use PAW: PDF Accessibility Wizard
Visit the company's website for more detailed information: NetCentric
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Adobe Captivate is one of two products that captures screen shots, powerpoints, etc. for online learning. Additional information provided by users of Adobe Captivate.
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TechSmith Camtasia is the second product that captures screen shots, powerpoints, etc. for online learning. **Warning, Camtasia Mac version does not allow the addition of captioning for deaf/hard of hearing.** Documentation showing the partial accessibility of Camtasia.
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