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Accessible by Design: insights from an assistive technology user and a course designer

Session Overview

This video was part of the July 2020 REMOTE: The Connected Faculty Summit

There is a chasm between those who seek to create accessible educational resources and those who utilize those resources to learn while relying on the affordances we call accessibility. Bridging this chasm requires a new dialogue between these two groups. To take a detailed look at just one specific case, consider a student who employs a screen reader to coursework in a Humanities class and a courseware developer who is simply incapable of navigating the web via a synthesized voice at 800 words per minute. More generally, how can educators design for contexts they can barely imagine? In this dialogue we will begin to build this much needed bridge, walking to the middle to peer into the dizzying depths of making truly accessible content, and continuing to the other side to appreciate the ways in which taking accessibility challenges seriously does not limit our toolset but adds to it in and ultimately strengthens our work.


David Lindrum

Founder | Soomo Learning

David launched Soomo Learning in 2004 to create resources that work better and cost less than a traditional textbook. Prior to Soomo he led Shadowbox Design, a small studio which built interactions for many of the companion websites provided by major publishers. Prior to that he developed Metatext, a pioneer in digital textbooks, and built to ensure approval from Bobby (a CAST labs tool) back in the day.

Devon West

College Senior | University of North Texas

Devon is a senior at the University of North Texas studying Philosophy with a special interest in intersections between Disability Studies and other marginalized communities. Since going blind at the age of eleven he has relied on assistive technologies such as screen readers to accomplish digital tasks including emailing, music production, and academic research.