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Adapting online learning resources for all: planning for professionalism in accessibility

McAndrew, Patrick; Farrow, Robert and Cooper, Martyn (2012). Adapting online learning resources for all: planning for professionalism in accessibility. Research in Learning Technology, 20(4) pp. 345–361.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v20i0.18699
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Abstract

Online resources for education offer opportunities for those with disabilities but also raise challenges in how to best adjust resources to accommodate accessibility. Automated reconfiguration could in principle remove the need for expensive and time-consuming discussions about adaptation. On the other hand, human-based systems provide much needed direct support and can help understand options and individual circumstances. A study carried out within an EU-funded accessibility project at The Open University in parallel to studies at three other European universities. The study combined focus groups, user-testing, management consultation and student survey data to help understand ways forward for accessibility. The results reinforce an holistic view of accessibility, based on three factors: positioning the university as a positive provider to disabled students; developing processes, systems and services to give personal help; and planning online materials which include alternatives. The development of a model that helps organisations incorporate professionalism in accessibility is described, though challenges remain. For example a recurrent difficulty in providing adequate self-description of accessibility needs implies that a completely automated solution may not be attainable. A more beneficial focus, therefore, may be to develop systems that support the information flow required by the human 'in the loop'.

Item Type: Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Authors
ISSN: 2156-7077
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetEuropean Union
Extra Information: Special Issue: Digital Inclusion and Learning.
This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) Licence.
Keywords: inclusion; students with disabilities; services; personalisation; evaluation; virtual learning environments; EU4ALL
Academic Unit/School: Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 35016
Depositing User: Patrick McAndrew
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 14:35
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2017 17:53
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/35016
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