WCOL 20192 – Assessing Accessibility Automatically

main slide of the aaa presentation

Accessibility audit of a set of courses

At the World Conference on Online Learning we co-presented some of our research with Dr Mark Glynn from Dublin City University

The presentation covered some analysis we had completed on a selection of course for compliance with accessibility standards and identifying the most common issues and most common areas within the Moodle course activities that there were issues.

Abstract

Is Your Course Content Accessible? Let’s Do A Quick Check!

Mark Glynn, Donal Fitzpatrick, Gavin Henrick, Karen Holland

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) specifies that “States shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children”, and “ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning”. (articles 7 and 24). While we encourage lecturers to expand access and increase flexibility by moving towards a more blended provision of their courses, they are specialists in their respective disciplines and not necessarily web developers or accessibility experts. This paper describes research conducted to evaluate the accessibility of course pages within our virtual learning environment and specifically aligns with the theme Promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Using existing open source libraries we built a reporting tool to define which checks were carried out, how they were carried out, how this data was stored and reported on at module, programme, and faculty level. Initial findings show that consistent errors are being discovered in our courses. Most of which can be easily rectified with some short targeted CPD for staff.