I’ve been working on adapting a AODA module for Desire2Learn, changing some minor things, tweaking the navigation and other minor bits. It’s intended to illuminate some of the issues people with disabilities face in daily life at an educational institution. It’s well designed (educationally speaking) but some of the sites I’ve been to in looking at accessibility have been, well, aesthetically challenged. As we all know, content is king, but I have to say, the way things are presented on some of these sites could use some sprucing up to bring it in line with modern web design that is accessible. Certainly CSS could be leveraged to provide different looks depending on what browser/screen reader was being used?
Along a similar line, this article sheds some light on the issue of teacher’s blowing out their voices – one of their main tools in the classroom. Certainly we have seen repetitive stress injuries for athletes and office workers – are we just maybe working too hard? E-learning can assist with this, of course, by recording things that might be said four or five times a week – streamlining teachers to actually get in the trenches and actually work with students to assist in their learning. The end of the article had an interesting thought, “you can’t teach French without speaking.” I think you certainly can – using a blend of native speakers on YouTube or a more community based site like Language Exchange.
Finally, from Reuters, technology doesn’t isolate people. The study doesn’t really reveal much, other than people who are active socially offline are also active in publishing and creating content online. I’ve always believed that technology doesn’t change who we are, but it does change who we communicate with. In many ways, this study and article backs that idea up.