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Print disability? Library has the key - UC Berkeley News Center

Print disability? Library has the key - UC Berkeley News Center | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Campus students with print disabilities now hold keys to the campus’s vast library collections, under a landmark agreement finalized last month. The negotiated agreement between UC Berkeley and Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal group, establishes a system for providing more timely access to print materials converted to alternative-media formats. 

 

The new system, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, allows students with print disabilities — conditions such as blindness, dyslexia, even paralysis that prevents them from turning the pages of a book — to request free conversion of a specific library book or journal. The library has agreed to convert the text to alternative-media format within an average of five business days.

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Baseline for Accessible EPUB: Crucial Part of Achieving e-Accessible Knowledge | EPUBZone

Baseline for Accessible EPUB: Crucial Part of Achieving e-Accessible Knowledge | EPUBZone | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
The 9th European e-Accessibility Forum was organized by BrailleNet and Universcience at the Cité des Sciences in Paris on June 8th, 2015. This year's event focused on e-Accessible Knowledge and was organized in conjunction with the DAISY Consortium Board Meeting. Several interesting educational demos, panel discussions and workshops were offered.

Participants were reminded that well-functioning industry ecosystems consist of several components that need to work well together: time-tested processes, research, collaboration, and integration of relevant technologies and platforms as their cornerstone.
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gobsmackedmumble's comment, July 1, 6:14 AM
Its great
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University increases accessibility and affordability of course materials through an opt-in digital delivery program | Pearson

University increases accessibility and affordability of course materials through an opt-in digital delivery program | Pearson | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
In the fall of 2012, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) surveyed its students and faculty about required course materials. Thirty-six percent of students reported that they had not purchased the required course materials at least once and forty-two percent waited one or more weeks after the start of a class to purchase the required materials, thus confirming faculty observations that students were not prepared to start learning on the first day of class.

Based on the survey data, the time seemed right for IPFW to implement a digital delivery program which guaranteed that all students in a course would have access to the materials on the first day of class and gave the university the opportunity to obtain volume discounts on course materials from its publishers.
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gobsmackedmumble's comment, July 1, 6:14 AM
Ideal...!!
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Making Online and e-Learning Accessible to All | Huff Post Education Blog

Making Online and e-Learning Accessible to All | Huff Post Education Blog | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
American teens spend an average of seven hours a day connected to their electronic devices (computers, phones, etc.). So it you want to get into the hearts and minds of young people today, you have to where they are: online. That's why websites, emails and e-learning tools need to be accessible to all, including people with hearing and vision impairments who use screen readers or who need captions on videos or other assistive technologies.

The web is a great place for communications, social connections, gaming and even learning. Yes - online learning. This is a relatively new field that is extremely promising for differentiated learners - i.e. gifted learners, people with learning disabilities, and everyone else in between. I'm a big fan of the Khan Academy, Ted.org and MOOCs.
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Download the AFB Accessible Player: The American Foundation for the Blind's Accessible HTML5 Video Player (Beta) | American Foundation for the Blind

Download the AFB Accessible Player: The American Foundation for the Blind's Accessible HTML5 Video Player (Beta) | American Foundation for the Blind | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Developed by AFB, this fully accessible, embedded video player with HTML5 controls includes the following features:

-Users can select the size and color scheme they prefer.
-Controls are labeled with text and include keyboard commands, so they work with any kind of assistive technology, and can also be used with a mouse.
-Video can also be expanded to a full screen, which is helpful for users with low vision.
-Can be used as an embedded YouTube player or as a standard player.
-Custom control layout supports English and Spanish languages.

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pearfriday's comment, June 4, 3:42 AM
Superb...!!
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Google Releases Two New Chrome Accessibility Extensions | PC Magazine

Google Releases Two New Chrome Accessibility Extensions | PC Magazine | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Google recently released two new extensions for its Chrome browser this week, both aimed at helping those with disabilities better interact with the Web.

 

The first extension, Color Enhancer, is designed to help people with color blindness better distinguish between the shades they see when viewing webpages. Once you install it, Chrome gets a brand-new color filter. As part of the setup process, you're asked to pick which row of stars in a grid of stars looks the faintest. After that, you're given a grid of stars on backgrounds of different colors, and you're asked to use a little slider to tweak Chrome's colors until you can see all of the stars on all of the backgrounds.

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Irma Beaupre's curator insight, July 1, 4:32 PM

I'll have my daughter try this 

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Justice Department Settlement With edX Suggests Heightened Scrutiny Of Online Course Accessibility And Potential Strategies For Schools - Government, Public Sector - United States | WilmerHale

Justice Department Settlement With edX Suggests Heightened Scrutiny Of Online Course Accessibility And Potential Strategies For Schools - Government, Public Sector - United States | WilmerHale | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
On April 2, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with edX, a major online college course provider, over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to the accessibility of online courses. EdX operates a web-based service that allows members of the public to view hundreds of online courses, including courses at more than 60 universities. Following a compliance review, the Justice Department determined that edX violated the ADA by not ensuring that online courses were accessible to people with hearing, vision and manual dexterity disabilities. EdX denied any ADA violations and disputed the Justice Department's findings.
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IBM Mobile Accessibility Checker - Announced at Mobile World Congress... | IT-Director.com

IBM Mobile Accessibility Checker - Announced at Mobile World Congress... | IT-Director.com | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
In the final analysis, the accessibility of any information or communication technology (ICT) is determined by the experience of the end-user. If the end-user finds it difficult to complete a task then the technology is not accessible.

The probability that the end-user will enjoy the experience will be increased by following industry guidelines, the use of good development practices and testing at all stages in the development.

Up until now the testing of mobile applications has been a manual process. Develop the app and then test it for accessibility:

By the developer using:
VoiceOver on iOS or TalkBack on Android to hear if it makes sense.
Single switch input to see if the app can be navigated and used.
Eyeball the application to estimate if colour contrast is sufficent or buttons big enough etc.
By end-users with a variety of disabilities and assistive technologies, and none, trying to use the app.

This process is problematic because it happens late in the process, it is slow and expensive, and still will not pick up all issues because it is difficult to find a wide enough group of end-user testers.
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Can everyone actually use it? Testing open textbooks for accessibility | BCcampus

Can everyone actually use it? Testing open textbooks for accessibility | BCcampus | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
We’ve frequently celebrated Universal Design for Learning – the set of principles for curriculum development that strives to provide students a variety of tools to fit their specific learning needs – as well as the B.C. Open Textbook project’s focus on making higher education more accessible by reducing the cost of reading materials, so from the beginning, it was important to us that the open textbooks be accessible to all learners across the province, including those with print disabilities, who historically haven’t been able to make use of the new tools and delivery methods at the same time they’re available for other learners.

“The goal of this project was to see if the open textbooks are open and accessible for all students,” said Amanda Coolidge, BCcampus Manager, Open Education. “The intention of open textbooks is to provide access to education at low or no cost, but if those materials aren’t fully accessible for every student, we aren’t truly fulfilling that mandate.”
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Cognitive Accessibility User Research | W3C

Cognitive Accessibility User Research | W3C | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Cognitive Accessibility User Research describes the challenges of using web technologies for people with learning disabilities or cognitive disabilities. The research describes challenges in the areas of attention, executive function, knowledge, language, literacy, memory, perception, and reasoning. It is organized by user groups of the following disabilities: Aging-Related Cognitive Decline, Aphasia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal. Additional user groups may be added to future versions. This document provides a basis for subsequent work to identify gaps in current technologies, suggest strategies to improve accessibility for these user groups, and develop guidance and techniques for web authors.
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A First Public Working Draft of Cognitive Accessibility User Research was published today by the Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force, a joint task force of the Protocols and F...

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National Federation of the Blind Files Suit Against Scribd | Disability Rights Advocates

National Federation of the Blind Files Suit Against Scribd | Disability Rights Advocates | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Burlington, Vermont (July 29, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for equal access by the blind to technology and electronic information, and Heidi Viens, a blind parent from Colchester, Vermont, have filed suit (case number: 2:14-CV-162) against Scribd, Inc. Scribd offers an Internet-based “personal digital library” that allows sighted subscribers to access a collection of over 40 million titles. For a monthly fee of $8.99, sighted subscribers gain unlimited access to this large collection through its website and apps, as well as other services, such as publishing their own work by uploading it to the Scribd collection and participating in social media features. The case has been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont and alleges violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The website and mobile applications that Scribd uses to provide its subscribers with access to electronic documents are not accessible to blind people.
Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

Another summer 2014 story that will be worth following.

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Global Audiobook Trends for 2015 | Good-E-Reader

Global Audiobook Trends for 2015 | Good-E-Reader | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
In 2007 a paltry 3,073 audiobook titles were produced and this figure rose exponentially to over 12,000 published in 2011. In 2013 many industry experts proclaimed that over 20,000 audiobooks were now available and in 2014 over 35,000 were released by major publishers and companies like Audible.

The global audiobook industry is currently worth 2.6 billion dollars and part of the reason why we have seen a dramatic increase in profitability is due to digital. In a recent New York Times piece, they said “In the first eight months of 2014, sales were up 28% over the same period last year, far outstripping the growth of e-books, which rose 6%”
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Resources: W3C Releases Updated Version of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool List | LJ INFOdocket

Resources: W3C Releases Updated Version of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool List | LJ INFOdocket | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
An updated version of the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List is now available. Web accessibility evaluation tools are software programs or online services that help determine if web content meets accessibility guidelines. Information about features of evaluation tools that help with evaluation is in Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools. Web accessibility evaluation tool vendors are encouraged to submit information about their tool to the list.

 

Direct to Updated Version of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List

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Accessibility as a Business Imperative: An Interview with IBM’s Frances West | PEAT

Accessibility as a Business Imperative: An Interview with IBM’s Frances West | PEAT | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
IBM is a global technology and consulting company headquartered in Armonk, New York. With operations in more than 170 countries, the company develops and sells software and systems hardware and a broad range of infrastructure, cloud, and consulting services.

IBM has also been a leader in the accessible technology arena for more than 100 years (link is external), and in July 2014, it appointed Frances West as the company's first chief accessibility officer. PEAT recently talked with West about her new role and IBM's approach to accessibility.
Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

Note the emphasis on creating products that are accessible from the start.

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Oyster Adds Light-Adjusting Technology for Easier E-Reading | Digital Book World

Oyster Adds Light-Adjusting Technology for Easier E-Reading | Digital Book World | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Oyster, the ebook subscription service and retailer, adds a new feature to its e-reading platform that adjusts the color and brightness of mobile users’ screens in order to improve the e-reading experience.

Called Lumin, the software decreases the amount of blue light emitted by LED screens, which some recent research has suggested can be harmful to readers’ eyes in dark environments and even frustrate sleep cycles
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7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about Accessibility | Salesforce UX Blog

7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about Accessibility - Salesforce UX - Medium

Accessibility enables people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web. Imagine a world where developers know everything there is to know about accessibility. You design it and they build it… perfectly. In this world, only the design itself can cause people with disabilities to have trouble using a product.

 

These guidelines will cover the major things you need to know in order for your products to be “design-ready” to meet the minimum of standards in Section 508 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The rest will be up to development and quality testing.

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pearfriday's comment, June 4, 3:41 AM
Outstanding...!!
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Jeffrey Lewis Appointed AT&T Chief Accessibility Officer | MarketWatch

Jeffrey Lewis Appointed AT&T Chief Accessibility Officer | MarketWatch | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
DALLAS, May 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T Inc.* has named Jeffrey Lewis as the Chief Accessibility Officer. Lewis will lead the company's Corporate Accessibility Technology Office, which helps people with disabilities get the most out of technology so they can more easily stay connected.

Lewis replaces Chris Rice, who retired. Mark Balsano, deputy chief accessibility officer, will support Lewis. Together, they will work to expand the organization to better provide services to the millions of AT&T customers who have disabilities.

"We know 'accessibility' is more than a word. It's a commitment to connect people to the world around them," said Lewis. "We are the connector, making real efforts to ensure our products and services are accessible to everyone."
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Apple VoiceOver accessibility receives award from American Foundation for the Blind | AppleInsider

Apple VoiceOver accessibility receives award from American Foundation for the Blind | AppleInsider | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Apple is the only tech company among the nominees, which also include an actor portraying the blind superhero Daredevil, a visually impaired musician and a pharmaceutical firm that introduced a new treatment for the circadian rhythm disorder.

The group's President & CEO Carl R. Augusto noted, "We are honoring accomplished individuals and companies for their success in improving quality of life for people with vision loss either through groundbreaking innovation or inspirational achievement that changes perceptions about what it means to be visually impaired."

Apple was specifically noted for its work on VoiceOver, an interactive screen reader the company began bundling on its iPods, iOS devices and Macs for free.
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9 accessibility steps for MOOC platforms | eCampus News

9 accessibility steps for MOOC platforms | eCampus News | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, edX will make its website fully accessible to users with disabilities within 18 months and will appoint a web accessibility coordinator, in addition to a number of other actions to ensure accessibility.

The agreement with edX addresses complaints that edX’s website is not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are blind or have low vision, those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those who have physical disabilities affecting manual dexterity.
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majorlever's comment, May 1, 11:28 PM
Great
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Web Accessibility: Is Your Content Ready for Everyone? | EContent

Web Accessibility: Is Your Content Ready for Everyone? | EContent | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Amy Ruell has been blind since birth, but software programs called screen readers help her read web content-that is, if websites are created in a way that makes their information accessible and usable for her, which is not always the case. Sometimes, sites that constantly refresh aren't coded right, and every page refresh causes her screen reader to start going through the page all over again. Some sites don't have properly tagged headings or descriptive links to help her find what she needs quickly; others are too cluttered with ads.

 

These kinds of problems make the web inefficient for reading news and content, says Ruell, a Boston area-based clinical social worker who is also a technical support specialist for an assistive technology company. She states she'd probably read more content if the access and usability were greater. Sometimes, Ruell reaches out to website developers to ask if they can make some changes for accessibility. "By far, the most common reaction I get is surprise, because they don't have a clue that the person on the other end of that computer screen or smartphone is a blind person," she says. "They don't know that these things even exist that would allow a person without vision to access the information on the web.

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Section 508 guidelines get an update under proposed rule | Federal News Radio

Section 508 guidelines get an update under proposed rule | Federal News Radio | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Technology has changed a lot since 2000, when the U.S. Access Board issued its first accessiblity guidelines for federal IT.

On Wednesday, the Access Board released its long-awaited proposed rule to update accessibility guidelines for federal information and communication technology (ICT) subject to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. It also provides similar updates for telecommunications equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act.

"The Board's proposal is responsive to widespread changes and innovations in the IT and communication industries," said Sachin Dev Pavithran, vice chairman of the Access Board, in a release. "It is important that the 508 Standards and 255 Guidelines stay abreast of the ever-evolving technologies they cover so that accessibility for people with disabilities is properly addressed."

 

The proposed rule incorporates the latest version of the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

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Accessibility - EPUB 3 Resources and Guidance | EPUBZone

Accessibility - EPUB 3 Resources and Guidance | EPUBZone | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
There is a range of guidance available for creating Accessible EPUB files - some high level and some more technical. Please contact us (sarah@idpf.org) if you would like to see additions or updates made to this list:
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Comparing the Accessibility and Screen Enhancement Features of Google Android Lollipop 5.0 and Apple iOS 8.1.1 for People with Low Vision | AccessWorld® - January 2015

Comparing the Accessibility and Screen Enhancement Features of Google Android Lollipop 5.0 and Apple iOS 8.1.1 for People with Low Vision | AccessWorld® - January 2015 | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
It was only seven years ago that Apple rolled out its first iPhone to the general public, introducing the world to the iOS operating system. In 2008, the HTC Dream was the first commercially available smartphone to run the Android operating system from Google. How times have changed! iOS and Android have quickly become the most ubiquitous mobile operating systems on the planet. Apple and Google remain in fierce competition over market share in the mobile OS space. So what does this mean for consumers who are blind and visually impaired? This level of competition, along with a concerted effort by smartphone manufacturers to offer a higher level of built-in accessibility, has resulted in a continual increase in options for consumers with visual impairments.
Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

Useful information for those who access educational materials using their SmartPhones.

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Blind mom sues Seattle schools over website accessibility | The Seattle Times

Blind mom sues Seattle schools over website accessibility | The Seattle Times | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

A blind mother whose three children attend Seattle Public Schools is suing the district, saying its website and math software aren’t compatible with technology that blind people use to access the Internet.

Noel Nightingale filed the discrimination lawsuit in federal court Wednesday (August 2014). She says that from 2005 until 2012, she was able to use the Seattle Public Schools website with a “screen reader,” a device that vocalizes the information on a computer screen or displays the content on a refreshable Braille display.

But in 2012, she says, changes to the website made it no longer compatible. The software that students use to complete math assignments wasn’t available either.

Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

I'm a little late in Scooping this but I do plan to follow the case.

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Dep’t of Education Negotiates Groundbreaking Agreement to Resolve Website Accessibility Investigation at State University | The National Law Review

Dep’t of Education Negotiates Groundbreaking Agreement to Resolve Website Accessibility Investigation at State University | The National Law Review | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
In March, we reported on a landmark consent decree that settled the first lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that a corporate website failed to meet standards for accessibility established by Title III the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Now, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has announced an agreement to resolve an exhaustive, 19-month investigation of website accessibility compliance in a public education setting under Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act.
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E-Book Legal Restrictions Are Screwing Over Blind People | WIRED

E-Book Legal Restrictions Are Screwing Over Blind People | WIRED | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
For the nearly 8 million people in the US with some degree of vision impairment, the advent of ebooks and e-readers has been both a blessing and a burden. A blessing, because a digital library—everything from academic textbooks, to venerated classics, to romance novels—is never further away than your fingertips. A burden, because the explosion of ebooks has served as a reminder of how inaccessible technology really can be.

For more than a decade, the visually-impaired have been locked in an excruciatingly slow and circuitous battle against US copyright laws. And it’s left the visually-impaired with few options but to hack their way around digital barriers—just for the simple pleasure of reading a book.
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