When perfect is the enemy of good – Suggestions for a pragmatic approach to accessibility

#36355

Speaker(s)

  • Lars Ballieu Christensen, Senior Advisor, SensusAccess
  • Tanja Stevns, Special Education Teacher, SensusAccess

Session Details

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

Summary

By knowing when to offer automated tools and when to use skills and time to manually remediate documents to be compliant, this session will show how it is possible to provide solutions that contributes to improved accessibility. The presenters will share their knowledge and experience with both practical and formal accessibility from working with institutional settings both in the US and Europe.

Abstract

”Il meglio è nemico del bene”, Italian proverb paraphrased by French philosopher Voltaire goes: The best is the enemy of the good. Where formal accessibility standards may be required when legislating and benchmarking, enforcing stringent compliance regimes can be more of a hindrance when creating accessible, inclusive teaching environments; simply because of the complexity involved and the advanced skills required by content creators. Although full accessibility compliance is required and have benefits in some situations, providing contents with a decent level of practical accessibility may often outweigh those benefits in terms timeliness, cost, and frustration. With decades of experience from formal accessibility audits, remediating thousands of documents, and creation of numerous inclusion technologies, Sensus suggests paths to a more pragmatic implementation of compliance and accessibility to remove barriers in education.

Keypoints

  1. Formal accessibility compliance does not guarantee that contents can be consumed by all.
  2. A large portion of documents used in education can be made better accessible by automated tools
  3. The remediation of complex education materials takes skills and time

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Lars Ballieu Christensen

Lars Ballieu Christensen (born 1963) works with technology and design for people with special needs. He advises government, organizations, academic institutions and companies on accessibility and inclusive design. Furthermore, he is the inventor of a range of innovative technologies that support inclusion and self-sufficiency amongst people with special needs, including the award-winning RoboBraille service. Lars holds master degrees in computer science and journalism, as well as a Ph.D. degree in computer science, all from the University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Tanja Stevns

anja Stevns (born 1967) works with education and technology to support inclusion of people with disabilities. With more than 25 years experience working at the Danish National Center for Blind and Partially Sighted Children and Youth, Tanja is a special education teacher and speech therapist, specializing in visual impairment and general learning disorders.