Introduction to Digital Accessibility: Delivering inclusive digital content

Micro–credentials are a new government initiative to provide short credentialed bites of learning to meet workplace capability needs.

This is a 5pt micro-credential has been development in partnership with Department of Internal Affairs. It is taught both online and 4 x 3-hour face-to- face workshops. To receive the credential you will need to complete assessment tasks.

Recommend course:

Description

This micro-credential will focus on developing the theoretical, legislative and practical knowledge of public, private and educational sector employees involved in the design, delivery or support of digital services and environments to public end users in New Zealand. This course will cover the relevant fundamentals of the government's digital design and web standards, international accessibility standards/legislation and core industry best practice from both the academic and practitioner perspectives. Course content will focus on:

  • Factors that reduce the accessibility of digital content
  • Cultural perspectives on accessibility
  • Obligations and incentives to improve accessibility
  • Implementing accessibility practices

Learners will also gain the perspective from accessible technology experts, industry practitioners and end users.

Who should attend:

This course will appeal and be of value to people in the private and public sectors who work in the digital space, including general managers, team leads, project managers, product owners, designers, developers, UX specialists, advisors and communications professionals. It will also be useful to anyone with an interest in digital accessibility that is keen to gain foundational knowledge in this area.

Learning objectives:

Learners who pass this micro-credential should be able to:

  • Recognise the key features, relevance and importance of accessible online information and services.
  • Identify potential opportunities for accessibility improvement of digital information and services.
  • Communicate concepts, standards and the good practice of accessible design through oral, written and visual methods. 

Course outline:

The course will focus on three critical questions, each of which will be explored over two weeks.

In responding to each of these questions, the course will explore a number of related key concepts.

  • What is digital accessibility and why is it important?
  • How can we design, develop and test content and services for accessibility?
  • How can we effectively communicate best practice in digital accessibility?

Teaching format:

This course will be taught through a combination of face-to-face teaching and online learning.

Key digital content, reading and activities will be delivered online, equating up to 20 hours of online contact. This includes video case studies, readings, online discussion and reflective activities.

There will also be 3x3 hour face-to-face workshops in Weeks 1, 3 and 5 of the course. These workshops will be active and project-based and will focus on enhancing and providing a critical lens to the online activities. Each workshop will relate to one of the critical questions.

Additionally, in Week 6 of the course, there will be a final 1x3 hour student presentation session.

Workload:

You should expect to spend around 50 hours on this course, including both online learning, workshop time and independent study. Typically this will involve 5 hours of structured learning a week, and 1-5 hours of independent learning and assessment.

Timetable:

Teaching DatesContentDelivery modeAssessment
Week 1: Friday 17 April - Thursday 23 April
  • Different types of disability
  • Definitions of digital accessibility and accessible design
  • Models of disability.
Online and face-to-face with a workshop. Blog post 1 (15%)
Week 2: Friday 24 April - Thursday 30 April
  • Standards, laws and guidelines that relate to digital accessibility
  • Fundamentals of web accessibility and their importance.
Fully online Blog post 2 (15%)
Week 3: Friday 1 May - Thursday 7 May
  • Accessible digital content design
  • Accessible visual design
  • Accessible content development.
Online and face-to-face with a workshop. Blog post 3 (15%)
Week 4: Friday 8 May - Thursday 14 May
  • Strengths and limitations of accessibility testing tools
  • Working in partnership with people with impairments and disabled peoples' organisations (DPOs)
  • Communicating accessibility requirements.
Fully online Blog post 4 (15%)
Week 5: Friday 15 May - Thursday 21 May
  • Analysing organisational practices and policies in regards to accessibility
  • Embedding accessibility into organisational processes, policies and systems
  • Championing accessibility in your context.
Online and face-to-face with a workshop. No assessment
(prepare presentation)
Week 6: Friday 22 May - Thursday 28 May
  • No new content introduced as focus is on assessment and course wrap-up.
Face-to-face assessment workshop. Individual presentation (40%)

Assessment items and workload per item

%

CLO(s)

 Weekly blog post and peer reflection on core concepts, reading and online content (four 250 word posts, 15% per blog entry)

 

60%

1, 2, 3

Presentation on the development of an accessibility resource (10  minute individual presentation)

 

40%

1, 2, 3

Presenters:

Gillian McCarthy

Dr Gillian McCarthy has completed degrees in design and psychology, and her work focuses on the interactions between people and both physical and digital designs.

After graduating from the University of Otago and working in a think tank, she completed a PhD and developed a research platform in user experience design within health and accessibility contexts. Previous projects include investigating what kinds of medical technologies adolescents with type 1 diabetes want to use, designing an app to get children engaged in their health care, designing a system to help women manage pelvic floor conditions, and designing ways for members of the Blind Foundation to interact with smart speaker technologies. Her research aims to work alongside people to design solutions that fit their needs, aspirations, and everyday lives.

Catherine Caudwell

Catherine is a design researcher with background in ethnographic qualitative methodologies. Her research background is in the field of Human-Robot Interaction. Catherine has completed a BFA and an MFA from Massey University College of Creative Arts, and a PhD in Design Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. Catherine’s research and teaching evaluates the efficacy and impact of user experience design research methods. She teaches in the Master of User Experience Design and Design for Social Innovation programmes, focusing on advanced research skills and values-based design.

Further details: 
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: profdev@vuw.ac.nz

Customised workshops: 
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.

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