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Disability and Digital Media: Accessibility, Representation and Inclusion
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility principles are the foundation for ensuring that all citizens have access to spaces, both public and online, despite a disability. Web accessibility, for example, includes assistive technology like screen readers, while public accessibility could include wheelchair ramps. Accessibility is a huge part of ensuring that everyone can participate fully despite differences. It's a big question in technology, especially as our online lives become more rich and comprehensive. Accessibility issues could prevent those with a disability from participating and cause a distinct disadvantage that hinders everyday activities. Learning about accessibility issues can put you on a path to creating more accessible technology solutions as well as products that enable accessibility in real life.
Why Learn about Accessibility
Accessible design and accessible websites allow internet usage without the usual obstacles. If the internet and technology are going to reduce barriers and provide enhancements to our quality of life, accessibility tools can break down obstacles for those who can't interact in traditional ways. edX and trusted institutions in the field of both technology and accessibility issues can provide a foundational understanding of the world of accessibility. From low vision tools to design for the deaf, you can rebuild an equality driven online haven. Those principles may just inform the way we view accessibility in real life as well.
Accessibility Courses and Certifications
W3Cx (World Wide Web Consortium) offers an introductory course, Introduction to Web Accessibility, designed to teach you the fundamentals of creating accessible websites and accessibility tools. You'll learn to develop tools for things like visual impairments and how to tackle accessibility problems head-on. Curtin also has a course on disability access, Disability and Digital Access. You'll learn about assistive devices, accessible products, and how the world of digital media is raising awareness for accessibility policy. For a broader look at technology, SDGAcademy offers a capstone course, Tech for Good, that places accessibility in the context of other aspects of information technology. You'll learn about accessibility, and other issues as the United States and other countries attempt to use tech to solve the world's pressing issues.
Whether you're building physical products like screen magnifiers or changing the inherent design of the web page using alt text, accessibility matters, through a variety of tools and design, web developers can improve accessibility standards for everyone. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) sought to make the internet an open space for everyone, and you can continue that work with courses from edX.org and partners. Help improve the user experience for everyone, not just the typical user, and ensure that the internet remains a place of wide-open possibility for all.