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Accessible E-Learning

From: Jeremy Hurst <jeremy@slightlydifferent.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 11:31:14 +0000
Message-ID: <41AB0882.2020606@slightlydifferent.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hello,

I was pleased to recently see mention of accessible e-learning on the 
forum as this is a subject that I feel is not being addressed in 
sufficient detail by the majority of e-learning developers.  Indeed, 
after contacting a leading e-learning software provider in London and 
asking if their software was accessible, and then after explaining what 
this meant, I was asked (amid chuckles) if I was serious.

It was hoped that this attitude was not the prevailing one, but when I 
did a presentation on e-accessibility at the IOD AGM this year, I was 
accused by one e-learning company owner of 'trying to put him out of 
business' for daring to suggest that he make reasonable adjustments to 
his software to ensure that it was more inclusive.

Sadly, I have noted that this attitude is not unusual.  Many do not even 
understand the concept of accessibility, and have given no thought as to 
how to integrate it with their products.  The new government backed UK 
Online centre software has some extremely good Flash tutorials on basic 
skills such as how to run a bank account, but it would appear that no 
thought has been given to accessibility.

Almost four years ago, my company developed an accessible e-learning 
module for a small disability related charity that is sadly no longer in 
existence due to its inability to raise sufficient funding.  This work 
focussed on the delivery of a module of an accredited Disability 
Awareness Training course entitled 'The Medical and Social Models of 
Disability'.  Salford University are using this as part of their Masters 
course in Accessible Environments - see 
http://www.selfdirection.org/html/research.html for more information.

My company is a small company, but if we can partner a disability 
related charity and develop an e-learning module that is not only 
accessible but has been successfully tested by focus groups consisting 
of people with learning difficulties in addition to people with 
disabilities, it is disappointing that, almost four years later, 
accredited e-learning is still on the whole inaccessible.

Yours, getting off my soapbox,

Jeremy Hurst

--
Business Director
Slightly Different Ltd.   http://www.slightlydifferent.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1326 372416   Fax: +44 (0)1326 372114

---
Our most recent accessible solution is Bonds the Jewellers - 
http://www.bondsthejewellers.co.uk - a AAA accessible e-commerce portal 
containing a wide variety of high quality jewellery and giftware.
---
Received on Monday, 29 November 2004 11:27:37 GMT

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