Web Accessible Adoption of Instructional Website, Application and Online Material Development

Web Accessible Adoption of Instructional Website, Application and Online Material Development

Loreen M. Powell (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, USA), Carl M. Rebman (University of San Diego, San Diego, USA), Chaza Abdula (Harrisburg University, Harrisburg, USA) and Michalina Hendon (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/IJEA.2019070104

Abstract

Many of the websites, applications, and supporting digital materials that assist students in the online environment are developed by faculty. Unfortunately, literature has indicated that many of these online materials may not be accessible to everyone and subject universities to potential lawsuits. This theoretical article discusses some existing lawsuits and policies with the intention of helping faculty improve educational web compliance. This research can serve as an important step towards the faculty adoption of accessibility evaluation tools and checklists that could result in better and more accessible digital materials.
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Introduction

Over the last 15 years, the development of website, apps and other online materials within the education sector has exploded. Today, many educators use or develop websites and apps for connecting and aiding with student learning (Hsu, & Ching, 2013; Johnson, Levine, Smith, & Stone, 2010). While the use and development of websites and apps are useful, there are many challenges that prevent compliance with the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA). Currently, many of the educators develop or use websites and applications that are not accessible to everyone and violate the updated Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans Disability Act (ADA). Some of the main reasons that content development many not be ADA compliant materials include lack of faculty awareness, education, and training (Berg, 2019). To ensure the development of ADA compliant websites, applications or any other digital content placed online an educator can deploy usability testing prior to uploading to the web for classroom use. The rest of this paper is as follows. First is a discussion of the importance of ADA accessible websites and applications. Second is a review of websites and electronic accessible laws and policies. Lastly, this paper concludes with suggestions of some free accessibility evaluation tools that educators can adopt.

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