The development of accessibility indicators for distance learning programs
A study was undertaken to explore program policies and practices related to the accessibility of American distance learning courses to qualified students with disabilities. A literature review was conducted, a draft list of accessibility indicators was created, examples of applications of the indicators in existing distance learning programs were collected, the indicators were systematically applied to one distance learning program, input from a variety of distance learning programs was used to further refine the indicators, and these programs were encouraged to adopt the indicators and make use of resources provided by the project. Results of this exploratory work suggest that incorporating accessibility considerations into policies, procedures and communications of a program requires consideration of the unique needs of students, course designers, instructors and evaluators; involves approval and implementation at a variety of administrative levels; and is an ongoing process that may be implemented in incremental steps.
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