MountainMoot 2023 - Montana
We scaled the heady heights of MountainMoot, again being held, as every year, at Carrol College in Helena, Montana in the US. Dan Case, and his team put together another excellent three-day conference focusing on practice sharing, discussions, learning from each other experiences which helps the community there to thrive and improve year-on-year.
Helena does not have direct flights from Dublin, Ireland, which would have been awesome, however as it turned out the best connection for me was Dublin to Seattle, and then to Helena.
Helena is a beautiful town nestled in the Rockies, and sits at over 4000 feet, hence higher than any mountain in Ireland!
I haven’t been there for a few years because of Covid and various other reasons. However this year, we at Brickfield sponsored the event, and had a great stand at the exhibition hall, giving us the perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone, what they were focusing on next, and what they’re looking to improve on. There were also a number of our partners there, Moodle US, Markanyx and OpenLMS.
It was great to see multiple partners here, sharing good education practices and promoting accessibility.
On our exhibition stand, we loved demoing our latest version of the Accessibility+ Toolkit, and also our upcoming educational tool kit, which includes 20+ plug-ins that institutions will find help them with their day-to-day operations.
On Wednesday Morning, as part of Pre-Moot Workshops, we delivered a full day training on accessibility. With full rooms, we facilitated attendees’ journeys through four sessions covering:
- Introduction to accessibility,
- Web accessibility,
- Media accessibility, and
- Document accessibility.
These are the same training workshops which we provide to our clients’ staff as part of their Accessibility Toolkit subscription.
On Thursday, we shared our barrier awareness session that highlights typical digital accessibility content challenges. Throughout the session, as we focused on different barriers, we had attendees reflect on the course content they create and deliver so that they could draw up a snag list of the changes they would like to apply. Accessibility is a journey and for some it was those first eye-opening steps.
Most exciting of all, there were a number of people who were presenting on accessibility topics.
Southern Oregon University’s Hart Wilson, who is one of our clients, was sharing their experience from their rollout of the accessibility platform – to enable better access to all in their own words.
Kim Tomkinson, from Idaho State University, discussed using Moodle Tools in general, to embrace UDL (Universal Design for Learning).
Finally, Rick Jerz presented on captioning methods for Educational Videos.
It was a great opportunity to network and discuss with different organisations where they were on the accessibility journey at their institutions. Although it was mainly Moodle-using organisations, a number of those present used other Learning Management Systems where they had similar challenges.
Looking forward to 2024!