Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Section 508 and Education

Because of one of my majors is Special Education, I am more likely to look for tips that make easier to people with special needs, navigate in a website. So, I found these useful tips for accessibility:

1.     Make a better choice of colors different to combine green and red together, especially on items like navigation bottoms. This will be useful for people with color blindness.
2.     Use alternative text for images, which may not be longer than 5 to 15 words.
3.     It is good to add links to text-only version; this is nice for people who use screen readers.
4.     If you are going to use a video in your website, you can add captions or subtitles. This function will be very useful for deaf and hard of hearing.
5.     Write clear and simple information instead of use jargon, which make it more accessible to everyone.

What not to do?

1.     Don’t use animation, blinking texts or auto-loading sound.
2.     Don’t put text over image backgrounds, it is too amateur!!!
3.     Minimize clicking, Put as few clicks between your visitor and your information as possible.
4.     Don’t use frames
5.     Don’t use light text on light background, or dark text or dark background.

Section 508 standards provide information about federal regulations for any kind of electronic and information technology.  As educators, we have the power to use the best resources in order to pull out the maximum achievement in our students, but how to do it without the accurate information? In our classroom we will have diverse learners, children who have different needs and interests, and technology will help us in our dairy labor of teaching.  Here are 3 ways to ensure our students can access technology easily:

1-    Getting information about software applications such as alternative keyboard navigation, useful for people with visual impairments who cannot rely on a mouse.
2-    Most of verbal tags, graphics or frames are available in an accessible format, like HTML code.
3-    Most of Multimedia products have captioning and audio description, which can be turn on or off according to the viewer.
 All these resources apply to students with special needs.

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