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Stories of Inclusive Technology: Diversity, Accessibility & Universal Design

Stories of Inclusive Technology: Diversity, Accessibility & Universal Design

Stories of Inclusive Technology: Diversity, Accessibility & Universal Design


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This video curriculum for faculty addresses the growing need on college campuses to make electronic content accessible to all users, including students who use assistive technology, students without disabilities who prefer to access content in alternative ways (like text-to-speech or an audio recording), and instructors who discover that inclusively designed documents are more useful, and easier to build and update. The series consists of the following seven videos:    

  1. Inclusion, Diversity & Disability (14:22): In this video, disability is understood as a facet of campus diversity, and accessibility as an essential component of inclusion. Students, faculty and staff describe their learning preferences and use of a variety of technologies. For a community to be inclusive, it must create physical and electronic environments that welcome everyone, including those with disabilities.
  2. Legislation & Disability Rights (6:02): This video discusses the laws that apply to electronic accessibility. It highlights not only the legal obligation to create inclusive electronic content, but also the need from a social justice standpoint. Inclusive design reduces the need to retrofit, a lesson we can learn from the built environment.  
  3. Tech for Reading (14:27): Students share stories of inclusion and exclusion when accessing their reading materials, including PDF and Word documents. Their stories demonstrate the benefits of inclusive design, such as listening to audio in a variety of situations, interacting with text using technology tools, and searching documents. Faculty also describe the benefits to themselves of creating inclusive documents
  4. Tech for Writing (4:39): Students, faculty and staff explain challenges they face with electronic communication. They describe tools that support their participation in a variety of writing tasks. Technology examples include voice recognition, mind mapping, word prediction, text to speech for editing, and more.
  5. Tech in the Classroom (12:51): Students share stories of inclusion and exclusion in the classroom, describing the note-taking and study tools that support their engagement. Faculty share stories of creating inclusive classroom environments that welcome all types of learners and a variety of technologies. 
  6. Inclusive Web (11:19): Students share stories of navigating the Web using a range of technologies, including screen readers, speech recognition, magnification and mobile devices. The video features their stories of inclusion and exclusion, and highlights several components of inclusive web design that are addressed in the WCAG guidelines.
  7. Inclusive Video (8:56): This video focuses on the benefits of captioning and audio description for students with and without disabilities. For example, a deaf student describes feeling excluded when uncaptioned videos are played in class, a visually impaired student explains how much he gains from audio descriptions, and international students describe how captions enhance their English language comprehension.

In each video, speakers tell their stories of inclusion and exclusion, helping viewers understand their specific challenges. Students and faculty recount their experiences living with disabilities, using assistive technology, and building inclusive design solutions.

Stories of Inclusive Technology has been designed for faculty, web developers, IT professionals, librarians and others who create electronic content, along with disability services and diversity professionals who strive to change the culture of higher education regarding electronic accessibility. Viewers will:

  • Understand the need for accessible digital content
  • Understand a range of experiences accessing electronic content (including students with and without disabilities, and students whose learning challenges are apparent and non-apparent)
  • Identify the many benefits of inclusive instructional materials, both for diverse learners and the instructors themselves
  • Realize that disability is an important facet of diversity, and accessibility an essential component of inclusion
  • Understand that electronic accessibility is a path to inclusion for students with disabilities
  • Feel motivated to create a more inclusive learning environment 

Accessibility information:

  • If you are unable to access these videos using the Vimeo player due to accessibility issues, please download the video files and use your preferred accessible video player.
  • Transcripts, captions and audio description are available.

For more information about these videos, please contact atrc@colostate.edu

More about the authors:

Marla Roll: Marla has been an Occupational Therapist for 30 years and has worked in the field of assistive technology for over two decades. She is Director of the Assistive Technology Resource Center, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, where she oversees campus AT supports and services and develops curricula related to assistive technology and universal design. She has served as Co-PI and Senior Personnel on federally funded grants related to universal design and BCI. Currently she is interested in research related to outcome measures of assistive technology interventions. Her passions include ensuring the usability and accessibility of mainstream and emerging technologies for equal access to electronic information.

Allison Kidd: Allison is the AT-IT Coordinator for the Assistive Technology Resource Center at Colorado State University. She provides IT support for AT, as well as training faculty and staff in electronic accessibility. She is working to enhance awareness of accessibility and to foster a proactive approach to the problems caused by inaccessible materials.

Anna Walker: Anna is the Campus Service Coordinator at the Assistive Technology Resource Center. She supports the assessment and implementation of assistive technology with employees and students on campus, allowing for successful participation in their work and educational roles. She also supports campus members in creating accessible electronic materials.

Craig Spooner: Craig has worked in the field of instructional design and accessible technology for nearly two decades. As a member of the federally funded ACCESS Project, he created UD training modules and a video for faculty. Craig is the lead author of a chapter in Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice, edited by Sheryl Burgstahler (Harvard Education Press, 2015), and has co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles.

Videographers: Shari Blackman Due, Be Reel Pictures and Mona Maser, Parthena Productions

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