U of A to Participate in Global Accessibility Awareness Day May 18
The Global Campus invites U of A instructors to participate in Blackboard Learn's Fix Your Content Day to support Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 18.
"Making sure that files, documents, images and videos are accessible to all is important to provide equitable access for all learners," said Ken Muessig, Global Campus instructional design manager. "Anthology, which owns Blackboard, has issued this 24-hour challenge to institutions globally, and we encourage instructors across the U of A to help our university stand out in this competition."
Fix Your Content Day is designed to make a positive impact on inclusive learning around the globe with the focus on improvement, not perfection, Muessig said.
To join, instructors can go into a Blackboard course and look for the "Accessibility" indicator icons next to content. The icons represent the level of accessibility as reviewed by a tool called Ally in Blackboard. The icons resemble speedometers ranging from red for not accessible to green for accessible.
"We recommend that instructors start with the low-scoring content in each course," Muessig said. "Let's move those reds and oranges to greens."
To count, the changes must be made through the Ally tool. Visit the website for Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support, TIPS for short, for help using the Ally tool and understanding the accessibility indicators. For support with fixing your content, email TIPS@uark.edu between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday, May 18, and TIPS will put instructors in touch with an accessibility specialist.
A quick way to identify this content is through the Ally Course Accessibility Report. Two common issues with easy-to-do fixes are:
- Adding alternative text to images allows visually impaired people to know what information the images are conveying.
- Adding proper headings to Word documents can help people who use screen-readers.
More than 182 institutions globally participated in last year's Fix Your Content Day, according to the Anthology website. The competition is based on each institution's number of accessibility "fixes," the enrollment, and the number of fixes per student. This month will be the first time the U of A has participated.
The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of education, specializing in online, distance and workforce programs and courses. It provides media production services, instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.
Ken Muessig, instructional design manager
Kay Murphy, director of communications
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