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Rosa Navarrete, Sergio Luján-Mora. OER-based Learning and People with Disabilities. 2015 International Conference on Interactive Collaborative and Blended Learning (ICBL 2015), p. 25-34, México City (México), December 9-11 2015. ISBN: 978-1-5090-0239-9. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICBL.2015.7387646
The Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative is being promoted by governments and organizations related to education around the world in order to improve and equalize access to quality educational content to all people. OER are digital contents for teaching-learning purpose available through websites, released under an open intellectual property license to allow their free use for self-learners and educators. The OER-based learning is involved in formal and non-formal education and can be included in different educational environments, including Elearning.
However, despite the growing availability of OER, most of these resources are not accessible to people with disabilities. Hence, the accessibility issues need to be addressed in order to include this vulnerable group of population in OER-based learning opportunities. An accessible environment should be twofold: accessibility of resources and accessibility of OER website that offers the resources.
In this paper, we propose a process to guide the creation and release of accessible educational resources and their application to a case study. This case refers the creation of an educational resource accessible for people with severe visual impairments and its release through important OER websites. This accessible resource is a full online course that includes downloadable PDF documents. Moreover, OER websites, where this resource is released, are accessible for people with disabilities.
Furthermore, this paper highlights the specific considerations for visual impairments in the design of this resource, and accessibility validation tests conducted with automated tools, simulation software, and user testing.
The results of this experience allow recognizing certain problems in the creation of accessible resources as well as the limitations of OER websites to serve people with disabilities. In addition, this work contributes to the awareness about the inclusive vision of OER-based learning.