Open resources for accessibility

Accessibility is a topic appearing in mainstream conversation with increasing frequency. When it comes to making course materials inclusive and accessible, there are a variety of open tools available.

Autocaptions are new in Kaltura

Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ethical ramifications. IRB application. Supercontinent Pangaea.Sit in a few classes at UAF and these are terms you may hear. These are also terms that have been accurately transcribed by the new autocaptioning feature in Kaltura, UA’s...

Accurate video captions in minutes

UAF eCampus, in collaboration with OIT, is excited to announce the launch of a new auto-captioning service in Kaltura. It is faster and more accurate than Kaltura’s previous service and makes it easy to edit your captions once they’ve been created. Captions and searchable transcripts have big benefits for all your students, so if you use video content in your course, now is a great time to learn how it works.

How UAF instructors are improving accessibility

What does it mean for an online course to be accessible? How do you begin to make it accessible? Many UAF instructors have already gone through the journey of addressing accessibility in their courses. Here, several of them share their experiences on the challenges and benefits.

Sharing the responsibility of accessibility

If you are teaching an online course at UAF, you have a clear support structure to provide reasonable accommodations for students. Here, UAF eCampus and UAF Disability Services detail available resources and the responsibilities that are shared with instructors.

Introducing Blackboard Ally, a new accessibility tool

Blackboard Ally is a new accessibility tool coming to UAF Blackboard on October 6, 2018. It is integrated software that automatically scans your uploaded course files and materials, looking for common accessibility issues. It provides insight into the course’s level of accessibility and feedback on how the content can be improved for better quality and usability for everyone. It will also generate alternative formats on demand using machine learning algorithms. Read on in this Teaching Tip to familiarize yourself with Blackboard Ally.

Make your Google Docs accessible

If you use Google Docs in your online course or share them electronically with your face-to-face students make sure they are readable. Some students use a screen reader to assist them. Here are three tips with the needed steps to make your Google Docs more usable.

Apply Universal Design to your course

Universal Design is a collection of principles for making an experience inclusive for a range of users with consideration to age, ability, size and any other condition that causes them to be more or less successful interacting with the world. It is an approach to design that intentionally means to benefit many individuals and it can be applied to course design.

Try Voice-to-text Apps for Audio Transcription

Audio transcription tools enable listeners to give their undivided attention to a speaker and free up hands and eyes from note taking. These apps can help to foster a more engaging group dynamic in the moment and are becoming both more precise and affordable thanks to the advancement of voice-to-text technology.

Read from a script to make videos accessible

It’s always a good idea to use a script or an outline when shooting a video for your online course. Your speech is more deliberate, and the script ensures that you are on message and do not repeat yourself or wander off topic. But there is another excellent reason to use a script when creating a video. The script can accompany your video as a transcript, and thanks to YouTube’s auto-timing caption feature, it can also serve as closed captions.

Building accessibility into online Blackboard courses

Blackboard provides built-in mechanisms to ensure online content adheres to accessibility standards for its static structure. Once content or third party elements like multimedia and links to resources are added, there are steps you take to maintain accessibility. As you begin adding course content in Blackboard, be mindful of what the end result may look like using a screen reader.

Accessibility and online course content

Not everyone accesses online content in the same ways. This is true across various media including text, images, audio, and video. Planning your online course content to be accessible to as many people as possible ensures that more student can benefit from the information you share. Thinking proactively about the accessibility of your course content can also make the process of working with Disability Services faster and easier when a student in your class requests accommodation.

Using YouTube’s Caption Editor

Many of us use video in our classes, but sometimes we forget that video is a media format that is not as equally accessible to all viewers. Viewers who are hearing impaired will not be able to hear the voices, music, or background audio we include in our video. It is our responsibility to take steps to ensure that we make video content accessible for as many of our viewers as possible.