Holistic approaches to e-learning accessibility

ALT-J Association for Learning Technology journal 03/2006; 14(1). DOI: 10.1080/09687760500479860
Source: OAI


The importance of accessibility to digital e‐learning resources is widely acknowledged. The World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative has played a leading role in promoting the importance of accessibility and developing guidelines that can help when developing accessible web resources. The accessibility of e‐learning resources provides additional challenges. While it is important to consider the technical and resource related aspects of e‐learning when designing and developing resources for students with disabilities, there is a need to consider pedagogic and contextual issues as well. A holistic framework is therefore proposed and described, which in addition to accessibility issues takes into account learner needs, learning outcomes, local factors, infrastructure, usability and quality assurance. The practical application and implementation of this framework is discussed and illustrated through the use of examples and case studies.

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Available from: Brian Kelly
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    • "This approach recommends taking into account the context of use including user's needs and characteristics (perceptual, cognitive, or physical abilities or disabilities), the requirements of the domain (tasks that users need to run, environmental factors, etc.), technical requirements (availability of software and assistive agents), and performance requirements (success rate, navigation time, satisfaction, etc.). According to Phipps and Kelly [8], accessible alternatives of the interface should be developed depending on the target population. Thus, the holistic approach falls within an ergonomic approach which advocates the user-centered design. "
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    • "Based on previous considerations, a need emerges for a system able to exploit transcoding strategies for the automatic production of SCORM-compliant LOs, encoded as synchronized multimedia presentations [Salomoni et al. 2006]. During the adaptation of contents, the system should take into account user tastes, physical capabilities, and also the device's technical characteristics. In this section , we present our solution to this issue. From a logical point of view, three different phases characterize the adaptation of multimedia presentations (see Figure 12"
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    • "(Zaharias, 2005; Adams 2007a), others point out potential conflicts in including accessibility guidelines alongside usability ones, e.g. (Phipps and Kelly, 2006). This may be due, in part, for a focus of accessibility concerns on the lowest level of design , namely standards for coding in a programming language on in a mark-up language such as HTML or XHTML. "

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