Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsE.A.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsDRAFFAN: Digital accessibility aims to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skills or abilities or disabilities, can access information, technology, products, and services. On this course, users will have the unique opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience of accessibility experts from eight universities in seven countries, as well as from disabled people who have experience of using assistive technologies in their workplace, study needs, and daily life.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 secondsPROFESSOR MIKE WALD: Everybody can think of themselves as only temporarily not having a disability, because at some point in their life as they get older, they will have some sort of disability.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsPROFESSOR GERHARD WEBER: Digital accessibility starts then, when a researcher does not think about how can this affect people who don't see, who don't hear, who have a hard time to read things, who are maybe elder. And that's then, where a researcher should know more about how digital accessibility can be built into a new paradigm, how to work with a computer.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 secondsDAVID CALDWELL: Businesses should care about digital accessibility for three main reasons. Firstly, there is quite clearly a commercial element. There's a huge untapped market when it comes to disabled people. Secondly, it's the right thing to do. There's a clear social and moral element to this. Thirdly, there's the legal argument. So it's not something that you can't not do. And there's equality legislation that means that you have to serve and be available for customers with disabilities.

Skip to 1 minute and 33 secondsPROFESSOR GOTTFRIED ZIMMERMANN: Now, let me give you one example. In the '70s, we've had this safety belt law in the cars. And there were actually a lot of resistance. We don't believe that now, but people refused to put on the safety belt. But at that time, a law was needed to enforce this to the benefit of everybody. And I think it's the same with accessibility.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 secondsNEIL MILLIKEN: Everyone in an organisation should have some knowledge of the issues that affect one in five of the population, but effectively, we'll all encounter things where accessibility features will become important to us. E.A.

Skip to 2 minutes and 8 secondsDRAFFAN: Learners on this course will discover how to create documents that are easy to read, how to develop products that may be more user friendly, and perhaps, design websites that can be used with assistive technologies. This is the chance to learn about the issues that arise when things are not accessible and how to fix the problems.

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 secondsPROFESSOR GOTTFRIED ZIMMERMANN: I believe that we need to come to a real responsiveness not only for the screen for the devices but also for the persons that are using the software or the web and also for the situations in which they are.

Skip to 2 minutes and 43 secondsPROFESSOR DOMINIQUE ARCHAMBAULT: One of the great things about technology is that it enables people to do things they cannot do without. For instance, a person who cannot walk will use a wheelchair and then he can move. But if there's a step it's useless. The environment is not accessible. In the same way, a screen reader is a piece of software, which enables a blind person to use a computer but if the content is not accessible it's useless.

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 secondsGUY WHITEHOUSE: People who don't technically need accessibility benefit hugely from having an accessible site because an accessible site is, almost by definition, an easier to use site. DR.

Skip to 3 minutes and 20 secondsJENNY DARZENTAS: I'm hoping that the MOOC will open some people's eyes, not just to the fact that some people have problems, but also, that there are solutions around and that there's ways to learn about it and put them into practise and make our world a more accessible place.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to the course. In this video you meet many of the course contributors.

Look out for Professor Mike Wald and E.A. Draffan who are joined by Dr Abi James to form the educator team from the University of Southampton.

This course has been funded through MOOCAP (MOOC Accessibility Partnership) by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 2014-1-DE01-KA203-000679. The MOOCAP Coordinator is Prof Dr Gottfried Zimmermann, Stuttgart Media University. MOOCAP has eight partners from across Europe:

Join the global community

We’d love to find out where you are in the world.

Where in the world are you?

Add yourself to our interactive map below. This is possible with keyboard and screen reader access, but please let us know if any difficulties arise. Here is how to do this:

  1. Select the link below this list.
  2. At the top left of the map select the tab marked ‘Additions’ from the main menu items.
  3. Choose ‘Add Marker- Simple’.
  4. Type your name in the Entry Name field. We suggest that you use only your first name for security reasons.
  5. Type your location in the location field (e.g. your city & country). Alternatively you can use the ‘click on map location’ feature. Please don’t put your full address for security reasons.
  6. Preview if you wish or select ‘submit’ to complete the action.

Once you have added yourself to the map, please select the ‘back button’ on your browser to come back here. Then introduce yourself in the comments area and tell us what it is about digital accessibility that interests you.

Go to the Interactive Map

Your online mentoring team

During the course, Neil Rogers, Manuel Leon, University of Southampton will be supporting Mike, E.A. and Abi.

You can follow them by choosing the links to their FutureLearn profile pages and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that they make.

Professor Gottfried Zimmerman and Christophe Strobbe, Stuttgart Media University, will be joining the team this week - do look out for them in the discussions.

Welcome to week 1

This week, you will discover:

  • what the relationships are between the terms ‘usability’, ‘accessibility’ and ‘user experience’

  • how two businessmen championed accessibility in their large international companies with strategies that could be useful in most organisations

  • the challenges that individuals who have disabilities can face with some technologies with particular attention to captioning

  • some digital technologies that are alternatives to spoken language and strategies that can be used to overcome barriers to communication

© This work is created by the University of Southampton and licensed under CC-BY 4.0 International Licence. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.

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This video is from the free online course:

Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society

University of Southampton