Blinding Technology of Online LearningBy Kolowich, Steve; Inside Higher Ed News,
Publication Date: August 23, 2010
Article discusses accessibility barriers encountered by blind students to college level online learning. Online learning, although often heralded as a way to make college an option for students who would not otherwise have the money or mobility to access it, can present obstacles to blind students as e-learning materials become more technologically sophisticated. So called dynamic content, such as graphics that change as a user rolls over different parts, presents a barrier to screen readers which rely on a screen having to reload every time new content appears on a page, a step dynamic content eliminates. Even though learning management platforms such as Blackboard and the open-source Moodle are themselves accessible, imported content from third party sources might not be. Efforts to improve e-learning accessibility for blind students discussed include steps taken by Moodle to ensure that content from third party sources such as YouTube is fully accessible once it is brought into a course; work underway by the Department of Justice to lay out specific obligations of various institutions related to accessibility and the Web under federal law; and a lawsuit brought by the National Federation of the Blind and the Ameican Council of the Blind that forced Arizona State University to end a pilot program using Amazon’s Kindle DX, which had an inaccessible menu feature.
Published by: Inside Higher Ed (Website:http://www.insidehighered.com/)
Link to text: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/08/23/accessibility