Course accessibility is a priority in higher education, particularly in the design and delivery of digital learning experiences. Proactively addressing accessibility as part of online and blended course design meets the needs of all learners, including those in the margins. Inclusive design for online and blended courses connects the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in order to address learner variability as an intentional part of course design. Inclusive design fosters expanded options in the ways that learners access learning materials, engage in learning experiences, and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have learned. This paper describes practical applications of WCAG and UDL for the design and facilitation of inclusive online and blended courses in the post-secondary setting.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101-336, 104 Stat. 328, codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. §12101.
Black, R.D., Weinberg, L.A., & Brodwin, M.G. (2015). Universal Design for Learning and instruction: Perspectives of students with disabilities in higher education. Exceptionality Education International, 25(2), 1-26.
Brown, M. (2018, January 25). Presenting the ELI key issues for 2018. Educause Review. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2018/1/presenting-the-eli-key-issues-for-2018
Byrne, R. (2014). Communication tools, updated. School Library Journal, 60(9), 17.
Çakiroğlu, U., & Aksoy, D.A. (2017). Exploring extraneous cognitive load in an instructional process via the web conferencing system. Behaviour & Information Technology, 36(7), 713-725.
Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org
Cifuentes, L., Janney, A., Guerra, L., & Weir, J. (2016). A working model for complying with accessibility guidelines for online learning. TechTrends, 60(6), 557-564.
Coy, K. (2016). Post-secondary educators can increase educational reach with Universal Design for Learning. Educational Renaissance, 5(1), 27-36.
Dalton, E. (2017). Beyond Universal Design for Learning: Guiding principles to reduce barriers to digital & media literacy competence. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 9(2), 17-29.
Everett, S., & Oswald, G. (2018). Engaging and training students in the development of inclusive learning materials for their peers. Teaching in Higher Education, 1-16.
Gronseth, S., & Zhang, H. (2018). Advancing social presence, community, and cognition through online discussions. In M. Marmon (Ed.), Enhancing social presence in online learning environments(pp. 117-140). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Harding, G.F.A., & Harding, P.F. (2010). Photosensitive epilepsy and image safety. Applied Ergonomics, 41(4), 504-508.
Kirkpatrick, A., O?Connor, J., & Cooper, M. (2018, April 24). Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Retrieved from http://www.w3.org/TR/2018/PR-WCAG21-20180424/.
Koh, J.H., Herring, S.C., & Hew, K.F. (2010). Project-based learning and student knowledge construction during asynchronous online discussion. Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 284-291.
Kumar, K.L., & Wideman, M. (2014). Accessible by design: Applying UDL principles in a first year undergraduate course. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 44(1), 125-147.
Mahmoudi, L., & Gronseth, S. (2018). Video-based discussion: Promoting presence through interactions in online higher education courses. In E. Ossiannilsson (Ed.), Ubiquitousinclusive learning in a digital era (pp. 128-153). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Marcovitz, D. (2012). Digital connections in the classroom. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
Meyer, A., Rose, D.H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal Design for Learning: Theory & practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing.
Mino, J.J. (2004). Planning for inclusion: Using Universal Instructional Design to create a
learner-centered community college classroom. Equity & Excellence in Education, 37, 154-160.
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials. (2018). Designing for accessibility with
POUR. Retrieved from http://aem.cast.org/creating/designing-for-accessibility-pour.html.
Perez, T.E., & Ali, R. (2010, June 29). Joint “dear colleague” letter: Electronic book readers. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-20100629.html.
Rogers-Shaw, C., Carr-Chellmann, D.J., & Choi, J. (2018). Universal Design for Learning: Guidelines for accessible online instruction. Adult Learning, 29(1), 20-31.
Rose, D.H., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Rose, T. (2015). The end of average: How we succeed in a world that valuessameness. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub. L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 355, codified as amended at 29 U.S.C. §794 (d).
Smith, F.G. (2012). Analyzing a college course that adheres to the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 12(3), 31-61.
Tobin, T.J. (2014). Increase online student retention with Universal Design for Learning. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 15(3), 13-24.
U.S. Department of Justice. (2015, August 6). Justice department settles with Louisiana Tech University over inaccessible course materials. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-settles-louisiana-tech-university-over-inaccessible-course-materials.
U.S. Department of Justice. (2016, October 17). Miami University agrees to overhaul critical technologies to settle disability discrimination lawsuit. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/miami-university-agrees-overhaul-critical-technologies-settle-disability-discrimination.
Vanderplank, R. (2010). Déjà vu?A decade of research on language laboratories, television and video in language learning. Language Teaching, 43(1), 1-37.