What we worked on:
We met this week to discuss to reflect on what we’ve learned so far as well as next steps going forward.
I also got to see a demo of HiSoftware’s Compliance Sheriff, which is a software tool that scans a webpage’s html code to see if it is compliant with web accessibility standards such as Section 508 or WCAG 2.0. The tool is pretty easy to use and can spider through each link to check compliance. It can provide a high level view (e.g., what departments’/percentage of your website is compliant with web accessibility standards) as well as an in-depth view into non-compliant code. For example, Compliance Sheriff can highlight the exact portion of the code that is non-compliant and explain how it is non-compliant. One thing Compliance Sheriff does not do is go ahead and fix the code for a developer.
What went well:
It is heartening to know and understand that a variety of tools and technologies already exist to help make digital content accessible for persons with disabilities.
What’s been challenging:
The real difficulty is lack of consensus on specifics of accessibility. Based on our research so far, we haven’t found a best practices for captioning technology, for example. We hope our research this week will shed light on that particular problem. We also hope to set up a meeting with some of the edX team to get an overview of how courses are put online as well as how edX deals with accessibility issues.