“Applying the 7 Core Skills of Digital Accessibility for Inclusive Teaching” led by Kate Brown & Jessica Blackwood
Jul 13, 2023
12:00AM to 11:59PM
Date(s) - 13/07/2023
In recent years, post-secondary environments have shifted to online learning, teaching, and remote work. This shift has resulted in the creation of new, and amplification of pre-existing, barriers to accessibility in physical, social and digital environments. Through the recognition of these accessibility barriers as being often systemic, McMaster community members have never been better positioned to contribute to the collective removal of these barriers through disability- and accessible design-centred approaches. Integrating accessible design into digital course and web content creation, as well as daily communications, has never been more important to facilitate an equitable and inclusive educational community as we increasingly consider the role of technology and Hybrid/HyFlex approaches in areas of instructional design and delivery. During this session, participants will learn about the Core Skills of Digital Accessibility and how they can be applied across digital environments (related to both digital platforms, as well as content published on or uploaded to platforms). These skills will also assist attendees in understanding how to meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0 AA compliance guidelines.
By the end of the session, attendees will:
- Gain theoretical understanding of concepts and frameworks of digital accessibility
- Be introduced to definitions of the “7 Core Skills of Digital Accessibility”, initially coined by the University of Minnesota
- Connect how the 7 Core Skills of Digital Accessibility can be applied to software used by instructors, including: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook
- Learn how to successfully implement alternative text, document structure, colour contrast, links, lists, tables, and video/audio, through observing live demonstrations during the session
Kate Brown is the Accessibility Program Manager and the coordinator of the Employee Accessibility Network for employees who self-identify with disability at McMaster University; she is currently co-coordinating a User Testing Pilot Program within the University, partnering students and staff with lived experience of disability and assistive technology expertise with units on-campus needing accessibility testing carried out of their web environments. Kate partners frequently with instructors, as well as the MacPherson Institute, to better support the dissemination and take-up of accessible (digital and non-digital) education principles and practices at the University.
Jessica Blackwood MSc, BHSc, is the Accessible Digital Media Specialist Supervisor in the Faculty of Science at McMaster University. They currently work to audit and remediate educational and promotional materials within the Faculty and educate the McMaster community on how accessible and inclusive practices can be integrated into everyday practices in our digital world.