Sunday, September 18, 2016

Accessibility of online courses

In this statement by vice-chancellor at U. California at Berkeley Cathy Koshland, an alum of Haverford College, addresses a recent ruling by the government that online courses at Berkeley are not ADA compliant. I was made aware of this when my colleague Mark Guzdial @ Georgia Tech, asked if their Online Masters was ADA compliant (thanks, Mark!).

This questioning is directly related to the point of this blog, that accessibility should be a concern from the conceptual, design and other early stages in the development of pretty much any tool or device used by people. In that way, the result will be a more diverse population served, and therefore a more complete interaction with the tool or device. Universal design may be the ideal, but we should get as close as we can to that ideal.

Sorry to sound like I'm on a soapbox, but this really resonated with me and connected me strongly with the actual purpose of SIGCSE 2008 with years ago. I hope this process of questioning software design and services provided about accessibility continues.


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