Online Learning Research Centre at UCEM has been working on accessibility and raising awareness of accessibility within the organisation. We looked at how we can make our digital learning materials more accessible and we have made our webinars available with captions using Synote to support deaf students. This experience helped me to write a book chapter, currently under review, for the edited book Ecologies of open: Inclusion, intersections, and interstices in education with collaborators Prof. Shirley Williams, professor emerita University of Reading and Prof. Andrew Adams, Meiji University Japan.
The chapter, Open to Inclusion: Exploring openness for people with disabilities, explores the ideas of open and how they have been fluid over time and gaining prominence with technological developments but is yet to be inclusive. The chapter introduces fictitious learner personas of students with disabilities and invites the readers to explore with them the obstacles they face in accessing open resources, the educational materials that are made available with permission for re-use and re-purposing. Using the authors’ international experience, the chapter investigates whether the difficulties these learners encounter may differ had they happened to live elsewhere in the world.
The chapter presents the case for inclusion and accessibility, including legal considerations in selected jurisdictions. While highlighting the importance of raising awareness in enabling inclusion, the chapter explores the potential of open content to create “inclusive openness.”
The manuscript is under review and a copy can be made available if you are interested in this work.
I am a Learning Technology Researcher and the Chair of the Online Learning Research Centre at the University College of Estate Management. My principle research interests lie in the area of social implications of information and communication technologies, especially eLearning.