Engaging Students with Accessible Technology
Explore how accessible technology is impacting your daily life
Make a difference by creating accessible materials to meet the functional and cultural needs of our community members.
When you are in the middle of a project and get a call, you are thankful for caller ID. At a bar or loud venue, the captions are the only way to know what the people on the TV screen are saying. Can’t decide what to order on the menu until a picture of a certain food on the menu convinces you. These might seem like conveniences of daily technology but this is really fruition of the effort to make technology accessible. Providing accessibility in the academic environment can bring about greater positive impact on our learning the same way it has enriched our daily lives. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) http://www.cpp.edu/~accessibility/accessible-documents/index.shtml#universal-design-for-learning is more than equal access to information; it is equal access to learning. Providing students of all learning styles a way to control the method of accessing information.
Now think about other technological media that is put to everyday use. Ever get annoyed by repetitive commercials or tired of the same opening theme for a show and your TV subscription doesn’t provide a way to skip them? Irked by those evasive and covert links to opt out or decline when navigating a website? Or simply put-off by those excessively gaudy or content heavy pages on a presentation? When filling out a time-sensitive page, do you have to repeat the process because you couldn’t find a certain piece of required information in the allotted time? Running short on time and only need to fulfill a very specific and apparently easy task, but to your dismay the convoluted layout of the program or site extends the completion time considerably. These may be simple inconveniences at first glance but to a few this makes many things inaccessible. In general, these are some things we should just simply strive to avoid. All could benefit from less inconveniences and quite a few will gain access to universal media.
Keep accessibility in mind not just for the few but for the many as well. Above are a real life examples of the familiar yet seemingly indiscernible phrase, “one for all, and all for one.” Aim for these simple yet grand accomplishments when approaching all other aspects of life. Think of ways to make your club website, class presentations, and any other projects accessible and you will be rewarded with not only including everyone to share in your creations but to also enrich that experience for all.
Take action – explore the links on this site to begin creating accessible websites and documents.: http://teachingcommons.cdl.edu/access/
The CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) policy is to make information technology resources and services accessible to everyone. At Cal Poly Pomona, we have a shared responsibility to create an inclusive and accessible community for all of our members.
Students at the University of Washington won a Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for their signing gloves. Check out the Signing Gloves YouTube video.