Developing Accessible Learning Materials
By developing learning materials that include mainstream accessibility you will greatly decrease the cost of specialist instructional materials and offer access to learning at the same time, the same price and in the same format for every student. There are many resources available to help you develop content that is inclusive and you may wish to explore some of these within the publisher section of this website but there are also materials and standards that have been developed specifically for the education market:
This is a profile of the EPUB specification which concentrates on the needs of the education sector, taking into account the structural and semantic requirements of educational publishing.
The profile builds on the EPUB 3 specification in the following ways and, as such, enhances the accessibility of education files:
- adds semantics for common components and structures
- defines rules for including content that may be created externally, such as assessments (e.g., QTI)
- includes accessibility features for compliance with educational standards
- enables the identification of discrete content entities
- allows the embedding of shared scriptable components
- adds support for annotations
- defines guidelines for the creation and inclusion of images
The IMS Global Learning Consortium Accessibility Innovation Leadership Network has drafted a document IMS Global Accessibility Key Principles For Digital eText Materials (EPUB) outlining nine principles that higher education institutions should consider when developing, adopting and using digital course materials to ensure accessibility for all students. These principles help guide discussions and policy decisions. Institutions are increasingly becoming more accountable for ensuring that all students have access to learning materials.
The Floe Inclusive Learning Design Handbook is a free Open Educational Resource (OER). It is designed to assist content creators, teachers, web developers, and others in creating adaptable educational resources. Such learning materials can accommodate a diversity of learning styles and individual needs.