Open Education Resources – Notoriously inaccessible, but we can change that!


Presented at 11:30am in Colorado I-J on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.



  • Sandi Gauder, CMS Web Solutions
  • Jennifer Curry Jahnke, Principal Educator,
  • Aiann Oishi, ,

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Interactive/Discussion
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Open Educational Resources (OER) are often used to create and present learning content, but many aren’t accessible or usable for our learners. During this session we will:

  1. Discuss how to assess OER for accessibility barriers.
  2. Use tools and resources to conduct manual and automatic testing.
  3. Explore ways to improve OER.
  4. Review strategies for providing alternative formats.

By the end of the session, attendees will have practical strategies for choosing and using accessible OER.


Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials (digital or print) that are in the public domain or have been released under an open license that allows no-cost access, use adaptation, redistribution by others with limited or no restrictions ( For this workshop, we will focus on digital OER. OER are tools for creating and presenting learning content and research findings. Many have accessibility barriers and don’t provide usable experiences. They create barriers and limit access to educational material.

Participants will begin by learning about the importance of accessible OER. We'll review different types of digital OER and their accessibility barriers. We’ll use tools and resources to assess the accessibility, including issues with formatting, images, videos, audio, and content where we’ll consider UDL, active learning, inclusive writing, and plain language. Attendees will learn how to identify these barriers using manual and automatic tools, and how to improve them. The session will also cover strategies for providing alternative formats if an OER is not accessible and cannot be improved. Participants will have the opportunity to offer up their own OER for assessment of accessibility barriers. Attendees will leave with:

  • Assessment strategies for evaluating the accessibility of OER.
  • Tools and resources to conduct manual and automatic testing.
  • Tips for improving existing OER or creating their own OER.
  • Skills to create alternative formats for non-accessible OER.
  • Practical strategies for choosing and using accessible OER in their research and teaching & learning.

This session is essential for educators and content creators committed to creating inclusive learning environments.


  1. Not all Open Educational Resources (OER) are accessible.
  2. Inaccessible OER can be used along with alternative formats.
  3. OER can be made more accessible and usable.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Procurement, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Sandi Gauder

As a web accessibility specialist, Sandi has been developing modern, accessible websites for over 15 years. She also coaches designers, developers, and content producers on best practices for meeting web accessibility guidelines.

She has led workshops for businesses, municipalities and web development firms on web accessibility and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). She has spoken at conferences and has appeared as a web accessibility expert in webinars. Management and technical audiences welcome her clear, common-sense approach.

Sandi developed the curriculum and taught Web Content and Social Media Accessibility at Mohawk College as part of the former Accessible Media Production Graduate Certificate program. She is also the Web Development Educator with

Jennifer Curry Jahnke

Jennifer Curry Jahnke, M.Ed., IAAP (CPACC) Jennifer is the Principal Educator with - a collective of digital accessibility educators supporting higher education. She is an active member of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’s (AODA) Post-Secondary Education Standard Development & K-12/PSE Technical Committee, Accessible Canada Act’s Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Standard Development Committee, and the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). An award winning post-secondary educator and academic researcher. She is a full-time Professor and creator of Mohawk College’s former Accessible Media Production graduate certificate program and micro-credentials. Currently, supporting academic institutions to implement accessibility practices at an enterprise level and build an inclusive education environment. Jennifer is a passionate leader committed to creating a culture of accessible digital inclusion.

Aiann Oishi

Aiann is passionate about creating accessible and meaningful design solutions. Since graduating from York University/Sheridan College Program in Design, she has worked in-house for organizations such as the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, Women’ College Hospital and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She has led the design and technical development of print and digital communications from websites, annual reports to fundraising campaigns. Past freelance design clients include ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, Mohawk College and Owlkids Books. Currently, Aiann works in provincial government supporting web content accessibility and publishing.

Aiann holds a Master of Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia (UBC), with a special interest in emerging technologies, inclusive online learning and knowledge exchange practices. At UBC, she provided instructional design for McGill University’s online training program on population analytics and aging, and co-designed a game prototype on rethinking disability.

She has been a past speaker at the Annual Accessibility Conference at the University of Guelph, and at OCADU’s Inclusive Design Research Centre. In her spare time, Aiann volunteers with the Yonge Street Mission teaching web design to children and mentoring youth instructors.