When creating and distributing open educational resources (OERs), it is important to consider accessibility to make sure that everyone can benefit from these resources, including those with disabilities. By designing and developing OERs with accessibility in mind, we can help make sure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from these resources.
The use of alternative formats is an important aspect of accessibility in OERs. This includes providing text in a format that can be read by assistive technology, such as a screen reader, as well as providing captions for videos and audio content. Additionally, images and other non-textual elements should include alternative text (alt text) descriptions so that users who are visually impaired can understand the content.
An important aspect of accessibility in OERs is using web standards to make sure resources are usable by a lot of different devices, including the ones used by people with disabilities. This includes making sure the resources are responsive, so they can be used on various screen sizes and orientations, and that they work with different browsers and assistive technologies.
Creating OERs with multiple types of users in mind is key! By using uncomplicated language and summarizing key points, those with reading difficulties and non-native speakers can better understand the material. Furthermore, having videos, audio, and text available allows learners to pick the best way for them to engage with the content.
Accessible OERs are essential to provide quality educational opportunities and experiences to all learners, regardless of their disability. Collaboration between OER developers, educators, and learners with disabilities is necessary to ensure that accessibility is taken into account throughout the process. Automated and manual testing with real users of different abilities should be implemented to evaluate accessibility, and accessibility guidelines and standards should be followed.
Moreover, accessibility is not only beneficial to learners with disabilities, but also to those with temporary impairments, older adults, and people with low internet connection. Furthermore, accessibility makes content more usable for all users. Thus, it is important to consider accessibility in the development of OERs to ensure that everyone can benefit from them.