Mobile Learning for All: Accessibility Considerations for Mobile Pedagogy

Mobile Learning for All: Accessibility Considerations for Mobile Pedagogy

Luis F. Pérez (University of South Florida, USA) and Ezzard Bryant (University of South Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4333-8.ch006
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Abstract

Educators have a legal responsibility to ensure access to learning for all students under legislation such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, many educators are not aware of the variety of tools already available to help them meet these legal requirements. In this chapter the authors provide an overview of the built-in accessibility features of mobile devices that can help educators meet their legal obligations for providing access to the curriculum for all learners. These accessibility features, along with complimentary apps for mobile devices, are discussed as supports that can be provided within a Universal Design for Learning approach that calls for flexible curricula that meet the individual needs of all students, including those with disabilities and diverse learning styles.
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Defining Universal Design

The term Universal Design traces its origin to the field of architecture. Ronald L. Mace, who is credited with coining the term, defined it as the design of all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life (Center for Universal Design, 2010). A good example of universal design is the addition of ramps to buildings in order to allow people in wheelchairs to access them independently. While these ramps were intended for people with disabilities, they can also benefit other groups, such as mothers with children in strollers and delivery staff. The use of closed captions, available on most TV sets when the sound is muted, is yet another example. These captions were originally developed to benefit people with hearing disabilities, but a wide range of users benefit from their availability when viewing the video in an environment where it is not possible to hear the sound (such as in a busy airport terminal or at a restaurant).

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