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Community & Business Groups

AccessLearn update, January 2017

Happy New Year!  The Accessible Online Learning (AccessLearn) Community Group co-chairs, Mary and Dave, would like to start the new year with a review of the work our group has conducted to date — and a proposal for next steps.

Since starting in the Spring of 2015, AccessLearn has conducted the following work:

  • A call for participation, resulting in 86 participants 
  • Two Surveys: An Initial AccessLearn Survey identified topics and key challenges (technical, organisational, other) in creating accessible online learning experiences. A subsequent survey identified two work streams.
  • Workstream 1: Began an analysis of existing WAI documents and a list to identify what exists, what needs additional information, and what is lacking in guidance or resources focused on accessibility and online learning. 
  • Workstream 2: Formed a 21 item list of accessibility information gaps that exist in the online learning community and associated stakeholders.

While neither workstream was fully completed, we propose bringing the work streams back together for the entire group to move forward. We have gathered detail from 2 documents that came out of each workstream to form a combined spreadsheet mapping W3C Resources and Gaps Related to Online Learning.

Our next work as a group will be to build out this document so that we have as complete a list as possible of W3C accessibility web pages and a mapping to the accessible online learning information gaps we’d previously identified. We’ll classify each information gap using one of the following categories:

  1. Information is not present on the WAI web site
  2. Information is hard to find
  3. Information is hard to apply to online learning
  4. Information is hard to find and hard to apply

The purpose of this work is to establish what needs to happen next to address each information gaps and to ensure that WAI can best serve the accessibility knowledge needs of people working in online learning. We’ll be working closely with the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) in this effort.

We’ve provided more details of the upcoming work, including a link to the document, in an email that was sent to list members. If you’re currently in AccessLearn, we encourage you to pitch in to finish this work; if you’re not a member and are interested in joining, please follow the instructions to sign up. We’d love to have your help!

Our goal is to have contributions by 1 March 2017, when we plan to check in again and send a progress update.

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