Bridging the accessibility gap in Open Educational Resources
Rosa Navarrete, Sergio Luján-Mora
Universal Access in the Information Society (UAIS). ISSN: 1615-5289 (Print) 1615-5297 (Online). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10209-017-0529-9
(UAIS'17a) Revista / Journal
Open Educational Resources (OER) are being fostered as a global movement for providing educational opportunities to all. However, people with disabilities are still excluded from full participation because of the lack of accessibility of OER websites, as well as of the resources themselves. This work presents a proposal for the design of OER websites that would enable equitable access for all users. This design aims to bridge the accessibility gap through the personalization of the whole OER environment to facilitate an accessible User Experience (UX) based on a user profile that includes the self-identification of disability status. This profile configures not only the “look and feel” of the interface but also the delivery of educational resources suitable for this user profile. To achieve this purpose, the design goes beyond compliance with the ISO/IEC 40500 W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, since it includes the personalization of the accessible experience through usability considerations and adaptations of educational resources. The delivery of educational resources matches the user’s profile with regard to their sensory abilities, cognitive faculties and their requirements of functionality control, display layout and language. As a proof of concept, we have developed an OER website based on this design and have conducted a set of UX tests that include users with different disabilities. The test results confirm the feasibility and suitability of our design regarding accessible UX. Finally, the contribution of this document arises from the explicit recognition of the particular needs associated with the disability profiles to establish the response of the entire OER system which enables a truly inclusive experience by exempting the user from performing configuration tasks.