The Courseload Accessibility Roadmap outlines an aggressive but pragmatic approach to reaching the goal of born-accessible content, technology, and experiences. We have articulated a 3 phase solution strategy;
Alongside → Personalized → Adaptive
Alongside Solution – Available Today
Content today is largely inaccessible. While publishers are working to deliver new content in formats like ePub3 which will enable accessible content, very few are delivering content that is born accessible. DSS orgs working on their own or with publishers, conversion providers, or content networks, must obtain and re-publish content to create alternate media documents that meet the needs of each student they serve.
The Courseload Alongside Solution combines these documents and the student’s preferred assistive technology with the accessible Courseload platform to provide an inclusive experience for all students to participate in the digital transformation of higher education.
What’s Next for Alongside?
- Now that Version 2.3 is in production and Alongside is possible, Courseload will focus short-term energy on improving the user experience further working directly with DSS orgs and users.
- Key areas for improvement are application navigation, documentation, and usability of various controls.
- Courseload will continue to improve these features with the realization that non-accessible content will continue to be in use for many years and the Alongside Solution will be needed even as we make progress in the other phases.
- Courseload will also work with institutions, DSS orgs, government-funded conversion programs, publishers, and content networks to manage republished versions of titles in our catalog, sharing them with institutions where possible to reduce the cost and time investment associated with preparing materials for individual students.
Personalized Solution - Estimated Summer 2013
The Courseload platform will address the delivery and where possible the integration of personalized content.
- Students will be able to request assistance within the Courseload platform and that request will be delivered to the institution’s alternate media function within the DSS org.
- DSS staff will be able to distribute republished content in place of the original content for a specific student in a specific course.
- Content intended for Alongside reading using other applications will be easily downloadable by the user from within the Courseload platform.
- Content that is integrated will have been converted to a screen-reader compatible format and will be displayed in place of the page images within the Courseload platform.
We are also researching the IMS Global Learning Consortium's Access for All standard including Personal Needs and Preferences for implementation within the Courseload platform and content catalog.
Adaptive Solution - Estimated 2014
The Courseload platform will support ePub3 and potentially other emerging formats that can contain semantically rich content. We will exploit that capability to adapt content to the user’s preferences dynamically. This will reduce the need for individualized republishing once the original content is designed with accessibility in mind.
- Publishers, authors, and editors will have a way to associate multiple alternative representations of each content element
- Curriculum developers and faculty will be able to provide alternative pathways through the content to adapt to different learning needs
- Courseload platform will adapt the content by combining the user’s preferences, the device capabilities, and the content representations to determine what to display
- Users will be able to adjust their preferences to different situations
Courseload will also research the embedding of assistive technologies directly into the platform reducing dependence on complex configurations.