Designing Courses With Accessibility and Usability in Mind

Glossary :: Resources


Alternative Text
Alt Text is Alt text Is read by screen readers in place of images. It displays in place of the image if browsers that don't support using images. It provides a semantic meaning and description to images.

Assistive Technology (AT)
AT is used by learners who can only access course content using special technologies. Some examples that were listed on the WebAIM website are a mouth stick, head wand, a single-switch access, a sip and puff switch, an oversized trackball mouse, an adaptive keyboard, eye tracking, and voice recognition software. Many assistive technologies for people with motor disabilities work through the keyboard.

Asynchronous Learning
Students learn the same material at different times and locations. Asynchronous learning networks all have a common conference space available. Students can post a message, read a message or respond to a message all within the same shared spaced.

Breadcrumbs appear at the top of larger websites and are used to show the learning path and guide students. They show the path the user takes to get to the final destination. They help to keep the learner on track during navigation

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, §1194.22
This is a civil rights law that guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.

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Semantic Structure
This refers to the order of the information that is presented and how it is organized. Even if you organize your instruction perfectly in a written version it may be read in a disorganized manner by a screen reader. This is because a screen reader reads “tags” that tell it what order things need to be read in. That’s why it’s essential to define your headings using Heading tags to set up a recognizable hierarchy.

Social Media (short video by Commoncraft)
In learning, social media promotes collaborative learning and co-creation.

Synchronous Learning
This refers to a group of people learning the same things at the same time in the same place, like webinars, video conferencing and live chats.


About Disability
Information and consulting on access to mainstream technology for people with disabilities.

Accessibility Using Moodle
Discusses what accessibility is and why it is important, as well as practical advice.

AccessIT—The National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education
Promotes the use of electronic and information technology (E&IT) for students and employees with disabilities in educational institutions at all academic levels.

ADE Accessibility in Distance Learning
This site focuses on helping faculty develop accessible online learning materials for people with disabilities.

456 Berea ST
An excellent resource for web development and accessibility.

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Boxes and Arrows
A site discussing usability and information architecture.

Breadcrumbs in Web Design: Examples and Best Practices
Excellent article from Smashing Magazine.

Captioning Key for Educational Media (of DCMP)
Guidelines useful to vendors performing captioning and media producers/distributors and others who are considering captioning their products or learning about captioning.

Color Contrast Checker
From the WebAIM website. WebAIM is an initiative of the Center for persons with Disabilities (CPD) and Utah State University.

Excellent information about designing web pages for dyslexic learners.

Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)
A website funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.

DO-IT: Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology
Creating Video and Multimedia Products That Are Accessible to People with Sensory Impairments.

Two links from the University of Washington's wonderful and informative website.

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Real Connections: Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone.
Excellent movie on DO-IT website.

Recent Screen Reader Survey
WebAIM, Web Accessibility in Mind.

Universal Usability
A universal design approach to web usability.

Usability Using Moodle
Some pointers, links, and resources on the topic of usability with respect to Moodle.

U.S. Department of Education
Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students With Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education.

WebAIM Section 508 Checklist
Suggestions for preparing instruction compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, §1194.22.

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