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Newest Version of Courseload Focused On Accessibility

Courseload has launched version 2.3 of its software with a stated focus on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), touting the release as the first e-text platform to provide a single, unified, collaborative experience for faculty and students of all abilities.

In developing the new version last year, Courseload created an Accessibility Advisory Board (AAB) to guide its efforts to advance accessibility within higher education's transition to digital technologies. The AAB brought together leaders from nine universities and national advocacy and technology groups.

Key accessibility features of v2.3 include:

  • All note-viewing, note-taking, collaboration, and sharing functions are accessible to non-sighted users and users with a visual acuity of less than 20/70;
  • Closed captioning provided on all help, documentation, and training videos;
  • Identifies scripted elements and updates to assistive technology;
  • Does not contain any pages or elements that cause the screen to flicker;
  • Functions accessible using the keyboard, mouse, or assistive technology;
  • Text-equivalent available for every non-text element with the exception of course content; and
  • Tier 2 support provided to institutional support personnel primarily via email, with alternative communication channels upon request.

Courseload v2.3 is intended to establish a basis for continual improvement toward the ultimate goal of "born-accessible" content, technology, and experiences, according to a company release. The company is also working with publishers, content networks, and institutions to help accelerate the shift to an adaptive future, making born-accessible content more readily available.

"The collaborative features within Courseload, such as the ability to write and read notes and converse with other students and faculty, are now fully accessible and allow for a level of engagement that previously didn't exist," said Carlos Taylor, adaptive computer technology specialist at Ball State University and a member of Courseload's AAB, in a company release.

Courseload is a device and content source-neutral aggregator and distributor of e-texts and digital course materials headquartered in Indianapolis, IN.

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About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected].

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