Advocating for Accessibility

 

It’s now becoming common knowledge that humans have a wide range of cognitive differences, in addition to the physical ones that are more readily apparent. However, we’re still just scratching the surface with our understanding of conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. With that emerging comprehension comes persistent stigmas. I’ve experienced them in my own family and encountered them in the learning and development field.

 

In fact, what spurred me to write this was getting blocked by a doctor who has an active social media and podcast presence because I asked her to consider not using background music that contained vocals, as the vocals competed with what she said aloud. That doctor also is a professor at a state university, which made me wonder if she provides accommodations for her neurodivergent students. (Learning differences don’t go away when a person enters medical school, after all.)

 

This reminded me that we still have a...

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ID and Ed Tech: They Intersect More than You May Realize

When I was in a teacher credentialing program, I apprenticed under two mentor teachers, both of whom frequently integrated technology with their instructional practices. I took that idea and ran with it, first when I developed and taught lessons in their classrooms, and later when I flew solo in my own classroom.

 

Soon I began to think about how I could take that inclination, strength, and interest I had in using technology for learning, and actually specialize in it. That’s how I ended up enrolling in a master’s program in educational technology. I quickly learned what it meant to earn a Master of Science degree – literature reviews and research papers!

 

What does this have to do with educational technology? Well, instructional practices should be grounded in solid research – in studies that are peer-reviewed, published, and with findings that usually are reinforced through subsequent studies....

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Accessibility Basics E-Learning For All

It is a commonly held myth that accessibility features are only intended for learners with a disability or impairment. However, the truth is that everyone, regardless of ability, can benefit from accessibility features within an e-learning course. In fact, you probably utilize accessibility features in your daily life more often than you realize. Think about the last time you used social media. Did you enable the closed-captions on any videos? Have you referred back to an audio transcription of your favorite podcast? These are two very common examples of accessibility features you may access on a regular basis. With a little thought and intentionality, you can design your e-learning courses to reach as many learners as possible.

 

What is accessibility and how does it relate to instructional design?

At its most basic, accessibility is ensuring your e-learning content is attainable and meaningful for all learners, regardless of ability. This means that a learner with an...

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