Main content for "Teaching and Outreach"

Teaching and Outreach demonstrates the benefits of assistive technologies and the results of AT research.

In the Classroom and Beyond

Every year, the AT Lab conducts a number of one-time classroom lectures for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students. In addition to lectures, Teaching and Outreach has worked with a variety of outreach programs that demonstrate AT for people with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Professional Development

Through Networked Learning Initiatives, we also offer professional development for faculty, staff and graduate students on accessibility in the classroom. Participants will gain knowledge of tools and techniques for creating accessible instructional materials/activities, as well as the practical experience necessary to design and create accessible and inclusive learning environments. For details about specific times for upcoming professional development opportunities, view our workshop schedule. The following are workshops we regularly offer:

General Track

Accessibility Made Conscious
An introduction to accessibility and assistive technologies designed to help participants identify pre-existing knowledge about accessibility as well as the accessibility features built-in to the Windows and Mac operating systems.
Exploring Built-in Accessibility
A continuation of the exploration of accessibility features and assistive technologies built-in to the Windows and Mac operating systems, participants will actively explore the features and practice using accessibility features.
Accessible Documents by Design
Participants will use materials they have previously created to learn how to use application based accessibility checkers. Additionally, participants will use the guidelines of document accessibility to create new documents.
Accessibility in the Blended Classroom or Accessibility in the Flipped Classroom
Practice is key to creating accessible and inclusive learning environments. To that end participants will actively explore ways to use the concepts of Universal Design for Learning and its role in promoting accessibility.
Captioning Tools and Techniques
As the integration of multimedia into the learning environment continues, the demand for transcripts, closed captions, and/or subtitles continues to increase. Captions make audio and video perceivable to those with hearing loss and understandable to a much wider audience in general. Participants will create closed captions for a short video
PDF Accessibility
PDFs have become the currency of our digital communications. However, creating and tagging PDFs to be understood by assistive technologies takes knowledge and practice. In this workshop participants learn how to: tag, set heading levels, create alt-text, adjust reading order and adjust the security of their PDF documents.
Speech Recognition
The power of speech recognition goes beyond asking your phone for directions to dinner. In this workshop participants learn the function and commands necessary to dictate and control the computer via voice.

Web Accessibility Track

ACCESS 001: Making Your Online Course Accessible to People with Disabilities
In this workshop, geared towards faculty who are developing or revising courses with an online component, you’ll learn how individuals with different sorts of disabilities access the web and the implications that has for the way you design, develop, and deliver your instruction. No special technical skills are assumed for this introductory workshop.
ACCESS 101: An Introduction to Web Accessibility
In this workshop, geared towards web developers and content creators with minimal knowledge of accessibility, but a basic understanding of HTML, you’ll learn how individuals with different sorts of impairments and preferences access the web, and the implications this has for how you develop web pages and other web-based resources. You’ll also be introduced to the laws and standards governing web accessibility, and be shown basic techniques for enhancing the accessibility of your web sites based on these standards.
ACCESS 201: Using Tools to Assess Web Accessibility
In this hands-on workshop, geared towards web developers, you will learn how to use automated tools for testing the accessibility of web pages. Different tools will be demonstrated, from bookmarklets, like HTML CodeSniffer and browser extensions, like Color Contrast Analyzer, to site crawling tools like ComplianceSheriff. The emphasis in the workshop will be on providing an opportunity for attendees to gain actual experience using these tools to test web pages and analyze the results they provide with the guidance of an experienced accessibility professional.
ACCESS 301: Advanced Web Accessibility: Rich Internet Applications
In this workshop, geared towards advanced front-end web application developers, you’ll be introduced to how to make rich internet applications more accessible to individuals with disabilities. How do screen reader users know when a web page changes dynamically in response to user input? How can you make it easier for blind users to orient themselves in and efficiently navigate through dynamic interface elements like tree structures and multi-level menus? How do people who cannot use a mouse handle drag & drop interactions? The Web Accessibility Initiative’s Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) standard has been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to address issues like these. In this workshop, we’ll present an overview of this standard, and discuss how to make sure, in an age when JavaScript enables web pages to function as fully-featured applications, users with disabilities don’t get left behind.
ACCESS 401: How to Perform an Accessibility Audit of Your Website
In this workshop, you will be introduced to a detailed process for evaluating a website to determine how accessible it is to people with disabilities. You will define the scope for the audit, identify the conformance target you are trying to achieve, and define the assistive technologies that you plan to support. You will learn how to explore the website and talk with the appropriate people to identify the technologies used, the essential functionality of the website, and the variety of web page types the site contains. You will learn how to select a representative sample of pages to review based on these explorations. You will learn how to audit the sample and, finally, develop a report based on your findings.

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