Hi, I’m Jackie Martinez, a sophomore undergrad at Harvard and I’ll be writing this week’s post on behalf of the AccessED team! In case you haven’t been following this project, we’re working on making online education more accessible to students with disabilities.
This week’s progress has been more along the lines of collecting information and narrowing the focus of our project as we see the places this team can make a difference this fall.
One of the main challenges we’ve come up against in our research is that policies across different parts of even just one institution like Harvard are inconsistent and hard to keep track of, and this research challenge has pointed us in a great direction for our project. At least one of our goals will be to propose and test alternatives to such a decentralized system for accessibility accommodation, especially because scaling resources for internet audiences presents extra challenges. The reason that this has become more of a focus is that, from our research, it seems that while there is a lot of developing and available technology, there are few guidelines for well-meaning institutions and professors for how to best use and provide this technology.