Accessible Educational Materials
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AEM, Accessible Tech and NIMAS on the web
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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 Educational 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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Microsoft Will Help Launch a New Association for Accessibility Professionals - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - MSDN Blogs

Microsoft Will Help Launch a New Association for Accessibility Professionals - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - MSDN Blogs | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Last month, I joined the founding members of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) in a meeting where we discussed the next steps to create an association and transform accessibility into a globally recognized and respected profession.

 

In March, we will take one of our biggest steps by formally launching the Association. So far, accessibility has developed at a grassroots level, hindered by an inconsistent approach to training as well as the absence of certifications and an established career path for engineers to follow from higher education into the workplace.

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Highlights of 2013: Accessibility in mainstream devices | Media Access Australia

Highlights of 2013: Accessibility in mainstream devices | Media Access Australia | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

In 2013 people with disability have been offered more choice in smartphones and tablet computers. While Apple still dominates this market, this year saw its competitors offer affordable and accessible alternatives. Here, Media Access Australia looks at a selection of mainstream electronic devices and how they have been improved for accessibility.

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IT Accessiblity Quick Guide - NC State University

IT Accessiblity Quick Guide - NC State University | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

This quick guide is designed to provide a high-level understanding of how to use different types of campus technologies accessibly. For more detailed information follow the links for each technology.

Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

Very useful quick reference.

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Accessibility policy | Elsevier

Accessibility policy | Elsevier | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Elsevier consistently and proactively endeavors to make our products fully accessible to all users, regardless of physical abilities. That commitment reflects the growing customer need for accessibility of our books and online products, and our focus on customers, innovation and partnership with the science and health communities we serve. We will leverage our strengths in the creative use of available technology. We will advance and lead best practices and always adhere to applicable law and international standards

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Looks like a terrific model.

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Measuring PDF Accessibility - PDF a11y Testing for the Rest of Us (...

Most people would agree that the best strategy for PDF accessibility is to integrate accessibility best practices prior to the conversion process, when the document is first being created.

 
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It’s Time to Update the U.S. Public Accessibility Procurement Standard - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

It’s Time to Update the U.S. Public Accessibility Procurement Standard - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Public procurement policies have been powerful tools in efforts to make information technology more accessible, helping to leverage the tremendous purchasing power of governments to encourage accessibility development.

 

For more than a decade Section 508, a policy that requires the U.S. government to consider accessibility when buying any information technology, has been the de facto accessibility standard around the world. 

 

While Section 508 has been responsible for a lot of progress, the twelve-year-old standard has become hopelessly outdated in the digital age. To address this, the U.S. Access Board created the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) in 2006 and charged it with developing ways to update the policy.  Two years later, TEITAC issued its recommendations and the federal government followed with two proposed rules, or advance notices of proposed rulemaking. But, we are still waiting for a new standard.

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Interesting perspective from Microsoft.

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The Challenge of Accessibility & New Media | Against-the-Grain.com

The Challenge of Accessibility & New Media | Against-the-Grain.com | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Meeting the legal challenge of accessibility to information for all in the new age of information will only get more difficult and complicated with the rise of new publishing models and formats. However, with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we have little choice but to find the best possible solutions for our clients.

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Amazon.com Help: Turn On Accessibility Features

Amazon.com Help: Turn On Accessibility Features | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

With accessibility features, you can navigate your Kindle Fire using special gestures, and hear spoken feedback about the items you touch and open.


Tip: After turning on your Kindle Fire for the first time, you can turn on Screen Reader and Explore by Touch by placing two fingers (slightly apart) on the first screen, and then holding for five seconds.
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Read Easy - Research From the Smithsonian Institution Laboratory for Visual Learning

Read Easy - Research From the Smithsonian Institution Laboratory for Visual Learning | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Research From the Smithsonian Institution Laboratory for Visual Learning. People with dyslexia, who ordinarily struggle to read, sometimes remark that reading is easier when e-readers are used. Here, we used eye tracking to observe high school students with dyslexia as they read using these devices. Among the factors investigated, we found that reading using a small device resulted in substantial benefits, improving reading speeds by 27%, reducing the number of fixations by 11%, and importantly, reducing the number of regressive saccades by more than a factor of 2, with no cost to comprehension

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Classroom technology must be accessible to those with disabilities - The Boston Globe

Classroom technology must be accessible to those with disabilities - The Boston Globe | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

As students return to school this fall, most will find a plethora of new technologies and virtual environments, on which their institutions have been spending millions of dollars to bring into the classroom. Yet many of these resources will be needlessly discriminatory. What would happen if an institution constructed a new state-of-the-art building but neglected to make it accessible to the disabled? People would rightly be outraged. Yet even as new technology-rich environments revolutionize the classroom, few make provision for people who are blind, dyslexic, or otherwise print-disabled.

 

Just like buildings, digital resources can be made accessible to all through good design and planning. Electronic resources should be inherently accessible; for most people, the zeroes and ones that make up digital content are translated for display on screens, but the same information can be transmitted audibly or connected to an accessory that puts it into Braille. Mainstream touchscreen devices like the iPad and iPhone are fully accessible to blind users right out of the box.

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Valerie Chernek's curator insight, September 16, 2013 10:35 AM

Boston Globe!  Thank you for covering this important topic!

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iOS7 Accessibility Features: The Website of Luis Perez

iOS7 Accessibility Features: The Website of Luis Perez | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

The long wait is over. It’s finally here: iOS 7, the latest and radically redesigned version of Apple’s mobile operating system.  Along with the redesigned interface, iOS 7 has a number of new and updated accessibility features which I will outline here (with videos to come soon). I will organize these according to the kinds of supports they provide.

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W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: 2013 in review | Access iQ

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: 2013 in review | Access iQ | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

It’s not surprising that the hard work of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) working groups appears to have two trends emerging: the desire to make it easier for people to make sense of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 through developments such as Easy Checks and WCAG2ICT, and the implementation of portable accessibility, be it eBooks, accessible interfaces with IndieUI or mobile As we step through another fantastic year for WAI contributions it’s exciting to note the increasing importance of the mobile web.

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What is it like to use a refreshable braille device with a laptop or tablet?

What is it like to use a refreshable braille device with a laptop or tablet? | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

It helps to understand how refreshable braille displays (RFBDs) get information from the device. Apple has a software called VoiceOver that enables blind and low vision customers to navigate iPads and iPhones. (The actual use of it is slightly different on the laptop, but the basic concept is the same.) RFBs depend on VoiceOver for textual and limited navigational support.

VoiceOver is more than text-to-speech software. It's a way of organizing and displaying visual information into words (spoken or in braille). Using either gestures or RFBD commands, you can navigate between different apps, read text, switch settings (e.g. spelling and grammar and menu features).

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How Can NIMAS Help Students with Print Disabilities? IPAT ND

How Can NIMAS Help Students with Print Disabilities? IPAT ND | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

NIMAS is a technical standard for developing accessible K-12 instructional materials.  It states that all books published after August 18, 2006, must be produced in the NIMAS format in addition to printed versions. This standard was put in place by policy makers to assure that “qualifying students with disabilities receive textbooks and other important materials in an accessible format at the same time as their fellow students.”

 

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NIMAS Workflow Graphic | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

NIMAS Workflow Graphic | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

The NIMAS Workflow Graphic provides details regarding the various steps involved in the whole NIMAS cycle from states adopting NIMAS and agreeing to coordinate with the national repository (the NIMAC), the role of states and local districts in prompting publishers to develop and deliver NIMAS filesets to the NIMAC, the file validation process, the downloading of files from the NIMAC by Authorized Users appointed by states and by Accessible Media Producers when requested by Authorized Users, the preparation of accessible specialized formats, and, finally, delivery to students that qualify.

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Technology brings new era for readers with disabilities

Technology brings new era for readers with disabilities | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Accessibility features include the ability to increase the size of text and images. For someone who needs large print to read, this can be a revelation, as so few books are published in this format. The colors can usually be changed to suit a person's requirements for their visual or cognitive condition. This can be of great benefit for someone with low vision, or with a cognitive reading impairment, as often a different color combination can be easier to read. E-books can also be read by a blind person using a feature where the text on screen is spoken to them with a synthetic voice, or sent to a connected device that uses a matrix of plastic pins to form braille letters, to be read by touch. These accessibility features are available on tablet computers such as the iPad and on Android tablets costing as little as £119 (about $192 or €140). And iPads and iPhones come with a built-in (free) text-to-speech capability called VoiceOver, which is very popular with people who are visually impaired.

Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

Promoting accessible mainstream publishing products.  This is good.l

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SNMinc WebGems's curator insight, May 8, 2015 5:22 AM

It's really nice to see app developers concentrating on developing apps for people with disabilities. We all should welcome them.

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The AAP ePub3 Implementation Project: BLOG@IGP

The AAP ePub3 Implementation Project: BLOG@IGP | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it
The AAP ePub3 Implementation white paper is out. Get it here. A succinct list of the features desperately needed in an ePub3 reading system.
Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

Note the prioritized feature list and the accessibility issues listing on the web page.  The AAP paper may be downloaded from the site.

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Disney invents touchscreen that lets you feel textures

Disney invents touchscreen that lets you feel textures | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

The company that brought you the first animated feature film and the multiplane camera may be at work on its most game-changing invention yet: Flat touchscreens that let you feel the shape and texture of pictured objects, almost like they were actually there.

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US Signs WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For The Blind | Intellectual Property Watch

US Signs WIPO Marrakesh Treaty On Copyright Exceptions For The Blind | Intellectual Property Watch | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

The United States has signed the World Intellectual Property Organization Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

 

According to the WIPO website, the United States and Zimbabwe signed on 2 October, which appears to bring the number to 57. So far none have ratified it.

 

Despite signing, the United States might be a long way from ratifying the June 2013 treaty, as noted by Jonathan Band of policybandwidth in Washington, DC, who first announced the US signing.

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Choosing Colors for Accessibility | Tableau Public

Choosing Colors for Accessibility | Tableau Public | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Earlier this week, Ryan Sleeper wrote a very informative post about improving the design of your data visualizations with your color choices. He touched on how straying from the built-in Tableau color palettes can give your dashboards a more custom feel, solidify the theme, and effect the appeal of the dashboard to your audience. But there is also another time that you should be cognizant of your color choices: when you need to make your dashboard accessible to folks who are colorblind. The U.S. National Library of Medicine estimates that 1 out of every 10 men have some form of color blindness. If you are using color to code important data, you should think about using color palettes that accessible to color blind people.

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Kindle Accessibility

Kindle Accessibility | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

The All-New Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets come with new and improved accessibility tools so that all customers can enjoy their books, movies, apps, and more on their Kindle.

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Google - Web Accessibility is NOT Just for Blind

Google - Web Accessibility is NOT Just for Blind | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it

Google recently set up a course in web "accessibility" which may sound great at first. Until they start the paragraph with: "According to the World Health Organization, 285 million people have vision impairments.

 

As if people who are blind or have low vision are the only users with disabilities having difficulties using websites. What about people with other disabilities? It is not the first time when an organization or an individual talks about web accessibility as something only for blind users.

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How to Prepare for Web Accessibility Before the Government Forces Your Hand

How to Prepare for Web Accessibility Before the Government Forces Your Hand | Accessible Educational Materials | Scoop.it
The Department of Justice has been delaying Web accessibility updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for years, but 2013 may be when it finally happens. If your business already follows existing accessibility guidelines, little will change. If you don't, this article sorts out what you will likely have to do.

 

Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

As publishers and developers improve the accessibility of digital learning materials, we will also want to make certain that their public websites are fully accessible as well.

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