Guidelines for Accessible Distance Education
Many colleges and universities have adopted the Section 508 standards or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) as part of web accessibility policies on their campuses. However, neither Section 508 nor the WCAG cover "second generation" documents that are non-web formats, such as PowerPoint. Faculty members need guidance on how to appropriately offer these "second generation" documents in an accessible manner for all students, including those with disabilities.
The GRADE Project in cooperation with the Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), has developed a set of guidelines for "second generation" documents. Based on the WCAG priority levels, these guidelines are divided into three categories:
- Must - critical items for basic access by users with disabilities
- Should - items to make access to online materials significantly easier
- May - items that can provide added functionality for users with disabilities