Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

A free online ICT accessibility course, accessible by the blind and deaf

The ICT Accessibility Open Online Course (MOOC) is a six-week, 100-hour course taught by accessibility experts. The project was initiated in 2016 by the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) through its research and design centre (AMAC), and is available worldwide. The self-paced format encourages interaction between students and instructors with content-rich videos, discussion forums, activities, and tests for those who want a certificate and/or are enrolled in the school’s Continuing Education Unit. Since inception, the ICT Accessibility MOOC has had 7,636 total enrollments and 161 countries represented.

“The whole course was intriguing and beneficial for my career. I found many aspects quite useful. I really enjoyed “meeting” persons who really do use accessible technologies and seeing how they use those technologies to do their work.”

Anonymous StudentGeorgia Institute of Technology
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:A free online ICT accessibility course, accessible by the blind and deaf
Organisation:AMAC Accessibility, College of Design, Georgia Institute of Technology
Country
of Implementation
USA and worldwide

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Participants grew from an initial 53 in February 2016 to more than 7,000 today.
  • The programme has reached 169 countries/regions.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

There is a great knowledge gap on accessible ICT that is excluding people with disabilities from the workplace, the Internet, and basically all facets of life. Web designers, ICT employees, and most people producing ICT content have not aquired the knowledge and skills to make their work accessible.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

MOOC employs a fully accessible Learning Management System, and course content can be divided into six topics areas:

  • Foundations of ICT accessibility
  • Principles of accessible ICT design for the workplace and procurement
  • Uses of assistive and mainstream technology for persons with Disabilities
  • Creation of accessible documents and multimedia, accessibility standards, tools to check accessibility, multimedia captioning, and audio description standards/Guidelines
  • Use of online evaluation and remediation tools for websites using HTML5 and ARIA
  • ICT accessibility operations model exploring the market forces and organization challenges
    The MOOC is available (in English) regardless of country, nationality, or region. People with a disability, educators, parents, homemakers, employees, or CEOs can take the course and interact as equals.
    As of mid-2017, MOOC has enrolled 7,636 participants from 161 countries; and in a participant survey, more than 75 per cent of respondents said that they will apply what they have learned to their Job.

An image in the studio wherein the course is being filmed.OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

When the course was first announced in February 2016, there were 53 participants. The following month there were 1,960 participants, and from there the number has steadily grown to over 7,000 as reported in June 2017. Georgia Tech also offers the course to enrolled undergraduate students, and is expanding the programme to otheruniversities. Georgia Tech welcomes collaboration with employers, universities, and disability advocacy organizations that wish take or replicate the course. Anyone can register for the free course and then map out a plan to replicate the course and tailor it to the needs of their own university, country, region, government, or business.
AMAC Accessibility received a grant of 17,000 US-Dollars from Georgia Tech to cover staff salaries, and contributions by university staff/faculty and corporate experts is valued at 120,000 US-Dollars.
An image of a person preparing the online course.
CONTACT

Raminta Zebrauskas
Digital Learning and Communications Manager
raminta.zebrauskas@amac.gatech.edu

FACTSHEET

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