Week 8 Activity 1.1 Alternative formats

For this activity we have been asked to make a list of formats that would be ‘useful for disabled students as alternatives to inaccessible resources’.  

Interactive Flash File

Positive Features
Interactive animation useful for engaging learners
Negative Features
Can not be read by screen readers
Technical Resources
Requires specific software such as Adobes range of web design software suites which can cost hundred or even thousands of pounds.
Human Resources
It does take considerable amount of specialist skills to create high quality flash animations.

Photographs

Positive Features
Beneficial to visual learners.  
Negative Features
Less useful for learners with visual impairments.  Difficult for screen readers to read unless without good use of Alt text.
Technical Resources
Most mobile phones now have built in cameras.  There are many websites which can be used to store, oragnise and edit images (eg flickr, photobucket, piknic)
Human Resources
It is not difficult for staff or students to take images and upload them to a computer or website.

Podcast (Audio)

Positive Features
Good for audio learners. Can be listened to on a range of portable devices. 
Negative Features
Less useful for learners with hearing impairments. 
Technical Resources
There are a number of hardware (MP3 recorders, PDAs, Computers, Microphones, Mobile Phones) and software resources (Audacity, Microsoft Sound Recorder, Garrageband), available to record and edit audio.
Human Resources
It is not difficult for staff or students to record audio which can be uploaded to a website or VLE.

Video

Positive Features
Can be viewed on a range of devices. 
Negative Features
May require additional audio descriptions for visually impaired learners.
May require additional text descriptions for hearing impaired learners.
Technical Resources
Wide range of camcorders available including those on a mobile phone, budget cameras such as the busbi or flip cameras as well as Higher end HD camcorders.  There are a range of free and paid for video editing software although the range of video formats can cause problems.
Human Resources
It is not difficult for staff or students to record video which can be uploaded to a website or VLE.

Non-Synchronous Discussion Forum
Positive Features
Allows learners to share thoughts and ideas.  More accessible than  a synchronous chat room as learners can take their time to add posts rather than trying to keep up.
Negative Features
Screen readers can have difficulties reading posts.
Technical Resources
Most VLEs have a Forum feature.
Human Resources
It may take time for learners to get used to the technical issues as well as on-line etiquite 
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One response to “Week 8 Activity 1.1 Alternative formats

  1. Jihan Baillie

    Kevin, this is a pretty good summary with highlights for accessibility. I enjoyed it. Thanks, JB

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