Accessibility is a big topic with many parts, but at the center there are people. People who need to know we care. People who may indeed require accommodations, but perhaps more importantly require an acknowledgement of and belief in their abilities to succeed. I’m wrapping up this series on Accessibility with Lauri Hughes who reminds us of the power we have to believe in our students even when they struggle to believe in themselves. And while this wraps up this series, I hope it’s just the beginning of the conversation.
The concepts of Universal Design may have roots in architecture, but the implications of these concepts extend nicely to teaching and learning. Wilson and Maryam are instructional designers in Kirkwood’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (KCELT), and share their perspectives on universal design as well as their experiences as Iowan transplants. Follow them on Twitter @wilsonmrojas and @maryamrodszabo.
The world of web accessibility can be overwhelming to navigate on one’s own. Thankfully, we don’t have to. Andrea Skeries, web developer at Geonetric and web accessibility specialist, guides me and anyone willing to learn through some of the important accessibility (a11y) considerations of today. She is also host of a public meetup here in CR on the issue of accessibility and user experience and design. Listen to the episode for great tips on how to make your web (and other digital) materials more accessible.
Links to some resources mentioned during our conversation:
- Meetup: Iowa Web Accessibility, UX & Inclusive Design
- List of links for Automated testing tools (including Tenon and HTML Code Sniffer)
- Andrea Skeries on Twitter @artistic_abode
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
- International Association of Accessibility Professionals
- A11y wins
Barb Mussman and Amanda Thompson are case managers for students needing accommodations. I didn’t know much about what this involved until our conversation. Sure, I’ve received accommodation forms before, but I hadn’t considered how these accommodations came to be, or what the process is for students who need accommodations. And what about the students who could benefit from these supports but decide to go it without accommodations? I had many unknowns and questions.
If you’d like to learn more about where Accommodation Services fits into the college organization, jump back an episode and listen to Accessibility, Part I with Arron Wings.
Here are links to a few resources mentioned during our conversation:
- Faculty Guide for Accommodation Services at Kirkwood Community College
- Illinois/Iowa AHEAD Regional Chapter
- Accommodation Services at Kirkwood Community College
- Temple Grandin TED Talk (2010)
To get started with accessibility, I wanted a big picture of where accessibility fits into the larger institution. Arron Wings, Dean of Learning and Library Services, came in to talk me through some of the changes he’s seen and opportunities we discover when framing our minds to accommodate everyone.
Next week, we’ll go deeper into the Accommodation Services section of Learning Services.
Learn more about the Learning Services Department at Kirkwood.
I’ve been talking with some knowledgable people about accessibility lately. Arron Wings, Barb Mussman and Amanda Thompson of Learning Services at Kirkwood Community College provide a detailed sketch of support for students needing accommodations. Lauri Hughes, Nursing Department Coordinator, describes her personal story of receiving support as a student at Kirkwood and where that has led her career and her heart. Andrea Skeries of Geonetric regularly educates me on web accessibility (A11Y) solutions and news. Maryam Rod Szabo and Wilson Rojas from KCELT help me fit accessibility into the big picture of Universal Design for Learning.
Five conversations to be published over the next five weeks (or so). My goals are to raise awareness and to continue the conversation about making learning accessible to everyone. Thanks for listening!