I thought I’d point you towards another resource that will be useful for partners, education trainers, and those who need to get the message across about Accessibility to their colleagues.
It is a complete PowerPoint-based teacher training workshop on Accessibility for schools using Microsoft resources. The workshop materials are there ready to go, with all of the links to the resources on the web etc. The only thing we don’t provide is the person to deliver it for you - but the materials have been written so that it can be delivered by anybody in education, without a deep knowledge of accessibility or special needs.
It covers a background, as well as an overview of accessibility features in Windows, Internet Explorer and Office, before going to look at the relationship between impairments and technology solutions, and advice on selecting accessible technology.
In then gets really practical, to help with planning for specific students in your care, by looking at four imaginary students with different needs, and suggests how to support them:
‘Alex’ has a visual impairment and is colour-blind. He needs to have what he is reading on the computer enlarged or magnified, and he needs to rely on text, rather than colour, for information.
Accessibility solutions Try a High Contrast color scheme in Windows to make the PC easier to see Make text larger Try Magnifier Run the Office 2010 Accessibility Checker on Word files sent to Alex
‘Christina’ is hard-of-hearing so she needs to be able to adjust the volume on her computer. She uses headphones to block out background noise and increases the volume without disrupting other learners in the classroom. She also may need to watch parts of videos more than once to make sure she doesn’t miss anything that is being said.
Accessibility solutions: Computer volume Change computer sounds Text and visual alternatives for sounds – such as captions Headsets Curriculum Resources for Special Education for Windows 7 and Office 2010
‘Sam’ has dexterity difficulties, including muscle fatigue. He needs to be able to limit the amount of keyboard work he does. Sam benefits from using Windows Speech Recognition to dictate large amounts of text for reports and uses an ergonomic Microsoft Comfort keyboard and mouse.
Accessibility solutions: Windows Speech Recognition Microsoft Comfort keyboard and mouse
‘John’ has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) which makes it difficult for him to concentrate sometimes. He would benefit from reducing visual and auditory distractions while using the computer. He needs the computer to assist him in better focusing on reading and typing tasks.
Accessibility solutions: Clean up and simplify the desktop Choose appropriate colour schemes and themes Use the whole screen to read Review spelling, grammar, and word choices Use Speech Recognition Try Microsoft OneNote
Download the Accessibility in Education Workshop kit (PowerPoint)
Bonus info: For more info on Accessibility and education, I’ve written blog posts about Accessibility half a dozen times recently: SharePoint 2010 and accessibility OneNote and accessibility Office 2010 and accessibility Publishing accessible learning resources from Office Remote teaching for blind students
Bonus info: For more info on Accessibility and education, I’ve written blog posts about Accessibility half a dozen times recently: