On May 9th, 2013, the Neil Squire Society participated in Global Accessibility Awareness Day (new window). The focus of the day was to get people talking, thinking, and learning about digital (web, software, mobile) accessibility and users with different disabilities.
They’ve also included a few resources that are part of the presentation and that may help answer some burning questions. These links are all free and will test and raise accessibility in your online environment.
- WAVE Toolbar to test accessibility of pages (new window)
- Fangs to show layout of pages for Jaws users (new window)
- Basis of an accessible YouTube player (new window)
- Free text-to-speech plugin for Moodle, built by Ryan (new window)
- Click here to view (new window) the slides from the webinar.
The webinar focused on the accessibility of an online learning management system called Moodle. For those of you who have not heard of Moodle, it is an open source e-learning management system used by schools and universities around the world. The Neil Squire Society has used Moodle for a number of years to deliver their programming online to people with disabilities across Canada.
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North Carolina State University recently published this webpage which highlights their exploration of Moodle 2.x’s accessibility. The thorough paper provides a lot of use case scenarios and outcomes when testing Moodle with various assistive technologies and standard tools (screen readers, mouse only, keyboard only, etc.). From the report overview,
There is a wealth of information to review, the short of it is that there are some aspects of Moodle that improved accessibility (such as the new navigation block) but other aspects which are a detriment to universal access (docked blocks and the file picker). If accessibility is a priority for your institution and you’re considering Moodle, this is a great guide to explore [http://accessibility.oit.ncsu.edu/reports/moodle-2-1/].
If you’re interested in reading more about accessibility or seeing a great example of an accessible site check out these links below:
- Universal instructional design principles for Moodle http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/869
- On the main Moodle site – http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Accessibility