If you follow ITRS on Twitter, you know we were recently celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which occurs on the third Thursday of May every year. The spark behind GAAD is that accessibility awareness, testing, and design should be mainstream and essential—not just the work of a few specialists.
On a personal level, my contribution to this day of recognition is to spread awareness of the journey that accessible design entails. Learning to design accessible courses; to create accessible websites and documents; and to remediate inaccessible courses, documents, and websites takes time, patience, and a growth mindset. If the idea of making your course completely accessible and inclusive is overwhelming, you’re not alone! Start today by incorporating one new accessible design practice into your course development work—add headers to your documents, captions to your videos, or alternative text to your images. Recognize that the work of digital accessibility is never done; it’s truly a journey rather than a destination.
Here at Loyola, there are several teams excited to support faculty, staff, and students in digital accessibility work, including Instructional Technology & Research Support, the Office of Online Learning, and the Student Accessibility Center. In ITRS, we focus on the accessible, inclusive design of digital course materials in and outside of the learning management system, Sakai. To that end, ITRS offers one-on-one consultations to address questions about accessible design and assistive technology. We can discuss digital accessibility best practices, check your course materials for compliance with ADA and W3C standards, and assist with formulating an action plan for remediating inaccessible learning materials. To schedule a consultation, visit our booking page, select Instructional Technologies, then Digital Accessibility. We look forward to working with you!