Promising Practices: Accessible Information Technology In Education
Welcome to this special topic issue of Information Technology and Disabilities. It features promising practices in promoting, developing, procuring and using accessible information technology in educational settings. Each article shares a specific practice, as well as evidence of its effectiveness. The result is a collection of documented experiences that can provide guidance to practitioners, both those who work with individuals with disabilities and those who work with technology in the mainstream.
This collection of articles represents a diverse set of practices. Included are applications that:
- are at K-12 and postsecondary levels;
- have impacts school-wide, statewide, nation-wide, and worldwide;
- are centered in a variety of locations;
- are directed by individuals in a variety of positions within a wide range of organizational units;
- deal with both on-site and web-based instruction; and
- cover a variety of policy, procurement, procedural, training, support, and technical issues.
Three articles describe projects in K-12 settings:
- In Universal Design for Learning: A Statewide Improvement Model for Academic Success, Michael Abell and Preston Lewis report on statewide efforts to introduce universal design for learning principles to K-12 educators.
- In Systems Change Regarding Accessible Information Technology in the K-12 Educational Environments, Karen Peterson shares top-down and bottom-up strategies used in improve the accessibility of information technology in schools.
- In the Kentucky Accessible Information Technology in Schools Project, Steve Noble shares the activities and results of efforts to help educational entities comply with a statewide accessible information technology act.
Three articles describe initiatives in higher education:
- In Making the Community College Classroom Accessible to Students with Disabilities, Judy Stoneham tells about systemic change efforts to improve the accessibility of information technology at two community college campuses.
- In Steps Toward Making Distance Learning Accessible to Students and Instructors with Disabilities, Sheryl Burgstahler, Bill Corrigan, and Joan McCarter share experiences in implementing program policies and practices that assure the accessibility of distance learning courses.
- In Closing the Circuit: Accessibility from the Ground Up, Curtis Edmonds, Marsha Allen, Robert Todd, and Shelley Kaplan document the process of creating an online learning object that can be utilized by all students.
Thanks to these authors for their efforts in improving the accessibility of technology to individuals with disabilities and for their willingness to share their experiences with ITD readers.
Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph. D.
Guest Editor, Information Technology and Disabilities
Director, Accessible Technology Services and Outreach, University of Washington