[Accessibleweb] Promising Practice for AccessSTEM KB (fwd)

Sheryl Burgstahler sherylb at u.washington.edu
Sun May 23 15:59:19 PDT 2004

UW Accessibility Efforts in Distance Learning Recognized by Sloan-C.

Promising Practice: Making Distance Learning Courses Accessible to
Students with Disabilities

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is a consortium of institutions and
organizatins committed to quality online education. To help make quality
education online part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for
anyone, anywhere, at any time, Sloan-C shares effective practices.
Sloan-C seeks to recognize practices with the following

* Replicability - the practice can be implemented in a variety of
learning environments

* Potential impact - the practice would advance the field if many
adopted it

* Supporting documentation - the practice is supported with evidence
of effectiveness

* Scope - the practice explains its relationship with other quality

These Sloan-C principles, known as the pillars or elements of quality, are
drawn from the familiar principles of continuous quality improvement
(CQI). CQI cultures use feedback from customers, partners and employees to
continuously improve products and processes. This is also applied to
higher education; the quality goal is scaling education to achieve
capacity access through attention to learning effectiveness,
affordability for learners and providers, and faculty and student

A practice at the University of Washington was selected for inclusion as
an effective practice in the Sloan-C collection. The practice is a
collaboration of DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and
Technology), C&C Client Services, the UW Access Technology Lab, and the UW
Distance Learning Program that as resulted in improved accessibility of UW
online courses by taking proactive efforts (universal design) as well as
providig effective reactive measures (accommodation).

Key activities of the practice at the UW include working with the UW
Educational Technology Group to promote accessible tools and course
materials; providing stand-alone accessibility presentations; integrating
accessibility into mainstream Web and other technology courses; supporting
a campus Web accessibility Web site; and participating in the
"Accessibleweb" discussion list and monthly meetings. In recognition of
the success of collaborative efforts in designing courses that are
accessible to everyone, the UW Distance Learning program recently received
the "BizTech Accessibility Award" for its efforts in designing courses
that are accessible to everyone.

For more information about the UW practice, consult Practice: Making
Distance Courses Accessible to Students with Disabilities
(http://www.sloan-c.org/effective/details2.asp?acc_ID=61) in the Access
area of the Sloan-C Effective Practices (underlne EP and link to
http://www.sloan-c.org/effective/browse.asp) website.

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