Accessible Information in Education
Under the Information and Communications Standards, producers of educational materials must make textbooks and any other educational or training materials available in accessible formats by January 1st, 2020. For instance, accessibly produced materials include:
- Handouts or lecture notes
- Student records and information on program requirements
- Visual classroom materials such as maps or globes
Equitable and Timely Accommodation
Educational institutions must provide accessible versions of all bought, borrowed, or created materials made available to other students in a timely fashion. Regardless of whether materials were required or optional, accommodated students must not unduly wait to receive material already available to their peers.
How to Make Educational Materials Accessible
Institutions may make some materials accessible themselves. For instance, school staff can:
- OCR image-only PDF documents using Adobe or SensusAccess type software (link on the right)
- Provide multiple ways to access content (online, PDF, Word)
- Photo-copy handouts with enlarged font
- Emboss them on a Braille printer
- Post course outlines or calendars on websites
- Record audio versions of print book excerpts
- Provide alt-text for images, or graphs
- Create tactile maps, diagrams, or pictures
- Provide captions for videos
- Provide transcripts for audio
Alternatively, institutions may need to contract third-party companies to produce other materials, such as Braille textbooks or tactile maps. Producers of educational materials must provide accessible or conversion-ready formats to assist in conversion processes. Producers who cannot make material accessible must provide a valid explanation of why this was not possible and provide summaries of the non-convertible aspects.
Read more on this and the AODA HERE.