Answer the following questions using what you have read in the set book and the resources:
- How would you define ‘accessibility’?
Ensuring equal access to all, with no barriers or obstacles and relevant support or alternatives available as appropriate. An inclusive model, no discrimination.
- Who do you think is responsible for accessibility?
Everyone i.e. it’s not just one specialist department or individual role e.g. in an educational institute it is a shared responsibility internally across departments which may include senior management, academic colleagues, IT/technical support, disability support, admin, library etc. Externally responsibility rests with providers of resources e.g. software companies, publishers, computer hardware tools. Finally students themselves also share the responsibility, working collaboratively with those offering support.
- What do you understand by accessibility in an educational context?
Ensuring equal access to teaching and learning for all students, without barriers or obstacles, to enable them to participate and achieve intended learning outcomes.
- What do you understand by accessibility in the context of online learning?
Online learning has the potential to offer equal access if designs accommodate the needs of user groups with different impairments, support access with assistive technologies and provide appropriate student support. Users should not be limited in their participation and designs should make them feel included rather than excluded.
- Why is accessibility a concern today in your context or country?
In the UK legislation requires equal access to education – Disability Rights Commission (2006) Code of Practice – for providers of post 16 education.
Accessibility in the context of education is about ensuring all learners can participate, benefit and achieve the intended learning outcomes without any barriers or obstacles. It ensures that there is alternative but equivalent content or activities as required by students with different impairments and ensures that users can learn independently or collaboratively and successfully using tools classed as assistive technologies.