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OER Initiative Offers Tools to Expand Awareness of Digital Accessibility

Teach Access

Teach Access, a nonprofit focused on digital accessibility skills education, is launching a collection of free online teaching resources designed to help faculty teach accessibility across a range of computer science, technology, and design programs. Built in collaboration with iDesign, the Teach Access Curriculum Repository provides more than 250 open educational resources to help students better understand digital accessibility as they learn to design, develop, and build new technologies.

"At a time when technology touches nearly every facet of our daily life and experiences, digital accessibility and inclusion is an education, civil rights, and an economic imperative," explained Kate Sonka, executive director of Teach Access, in a statement. "This is about not just teaching students about the importance of accessibility — but equipping those future graduates to put the principles of accessibility and inclusion into practice as they look for internships and jobs."

To put together the collection of resources, instructional designers from iDesign collaborated with faculty experts on digital accessibility and inclusion to review hundreds of faculty-submitted teaching resources and learning objects for courses such as Human Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Web Design & Development, UX Design, Visual & Graphic Design, Instructional Technology, Game & Interactive Media Design, Robotics, Technical Writing, and Psychology, according to a news announcement. The repository "provides faculty with the support to build accessibility concepts into courses and teach practical applications of accessibility to learners in their classrooms," the announcement said.

"Accessibility can't be an afterthought. It needs to be woven throughout the very design and engineering processes used to create and build technology in the first place," commented Whitney Kilgore, co-founder and chief academic officer of iDesign. "This is about ensuring that the next generation of developers, designers and engineers are equipped to create technology that is responsive to the needs of every individual."

Access the Teach Access Curriculum Repository here.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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