We’ve written before on this blog about the promise of digital textbooks to improve the learning experience for students with special needs. Today, I’d like to take a closer look at the accessibility ecosystem that supports students on campus, and how we can help that community.
This post appeared in its entirety in eCampus News.
The accessibility of learning content is undergoing a dramatic change right now. This change is being built upon existing standards that key parts of the industry are implementing, as well as new standards. All the changes that are happening are, for the first time, enabling the ability for institutions, instructors and learners to adopt and access accessible content, that is the exact same content, at the same time, on the same platforms as any other user.
Vendors must ensure that the content they provide is available where and when users need it, and that the platform and the content are created in a way that they will work together to ensure accessibility.
Remember the fun of going to the library and picking out books when you were a kid, or spending a relaxing afternoon browsing your favorite bookstore? I don’t. I’ve been legally blind since birth; my vision cannot be corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery. As much as I loved printed books, they never really loved me back. Trips to the bookstore and library involved finding the large print section, full of books about aging and a plethora of Danielle Steele novels….and not much else.
Until the advent of eBooks, reading for pleasure was tricky, at best. Reading for school was downright miserable. Sometimes large print textbooks were available, but often they were not. I’d exhaust my eyes and do my best to complete my reading assignments and homework, but learning from print books was a painful, and oftentimes, embarrassing experience. I relied on bulky CCTV magnifiers in library basements and an unhealthy amount of eyestrain to make it through high school and college. Then everything changed.
Creating digital content is an exciting but at times intimidating task. Considering these questions will help you create and deliver your content effectively.
At VitalSource, we pride ourselves in our ability to find innovative solutions to customers’ unique problems.
We had the opportunity to do just that when Sweden-based Aim4Knowledge came to us with a desire to go beyond flat PDF files to meet the training needs of their clients.