Create Accessibility at Fall #CUE

Create Accessibility at FallCUE
That's a wrap for another great Fall CUE! I had the great pleasure of sharing more about Create Accessibility and accessible design.  On Thursday evening, I shared some workflows for captioning videos in Google Drive.

On Friday, during the 90-minute workshop session, we created Google Sites with accessibility in mind.  Google Sites are easy for students of all ages to use to communicate information, understanding, and learning and provide a great entry into accessible design principles. When students are inserting text, one can teach about the importance of formatting and hierarchy with titles, heading, and subheadings for individuals using a screen reader. Similarly, when images are inserted beyond just showing students how to resize or crop, teach students about alt text.  Teach them why alt text is important, when it is needed, how to compose and insert.  There are lots of these opportunities to naturally insert accessible design lessons when students are creating google sites, with videos and captions, color choices, and even navigation menu appearance. I still hold fast to the moonshot of a more accessible and inclusive future when students in our classrooms today practice accessible design as they create digital content. Seeing teachers, librarians, and administrators creating more accessible Google Sites brings me hope that this vision is moving closer to reality.

Later that day, I led a small session on Section 508 and Web Accessibility. As much as I have cringed over the last year when people express frustrations about Section 508 and the "burden" of making digital content accessible, I also find great solace in the heightened awareness that the increased Section 508 complaints have brought to our school communities. I don't believe that the threat of an Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Complaint or lawsuit is an effective motivating factor to create transformative, lasting change in school districts but this climate has resulted in dramatically increased awareness. My hope is that our educational system can work towards moving beyond the idea of accessibility as a checklist for compliance sake and make it about people and access.  And when you have #CUE members in the room dedicated to learning more, sharing their ideas and struggles with one another it brings great hope of needed transformative, sustainable changes coming to more students and communities as a result of their dedication to moving beyond compliance for accessibility.


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