Resource for Improving Higher Education Instruction

A few months back I referred to a project that used video to present information about accessibility needs in the classroom. That article was about how difficult it is to create markup for embedded video that is universally accessible and valid HTML. Late last month the larger project that used that work was released. Called the Faculty & Administrator Modules in Higher Education, or FAME, it is a professional development tool for use in higher education with information on how college faculty, administrators, disability service providers, and students can work individually and collaboratively to improve the accommodations, teaching-learning process, and overall campus environment for students with disabilities. The content on the website is broken up into five modules:

Update to ‘Embedded Web Video in a Standards-Compliant, Accessible, and Successful Way’

With the release of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player version 11, the Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol is officially no longer supported. (Except, of course, for the confusing/amusing footnote on that page that says ‘mms://’ URIs are “highly recommended” as a protocol rollover URL — only Microsoft can at the same time make something deprecated and highly recommended.) As Ryan Eby noted earlier this year, those generating ASX files for Windows Media Player need to adjust their scripts.

Embedded Web Video in a Standards-Compliant, Accessible, and Successful Way

The word “Successful” in the title, when juxtaposed with “Standards-Compliant” and “Accessible,” should be big, bold and flashing (except that the flashing style would then go against web accessibility best practice). The goal is to embed a video clip into a web page that validates as “XHTML4.01 Transitional”, includes a Closed Captioning text track to be displayed in the web page, and could be viewed in one of three flavors: Windows Media, QuickTime, and Real. And the content being presented is about using accessible technologies in the classroom, so it had to be “right.” This task was much harder than I thought, and I’ll offer much harder than it should have been. Piecing together sources too numerous to mention, I managed to make it happen … with just a few caveats. Here, documented for all time, or at least until dltj.org goes away or the next major browser/streaming-client revision (which ever comes first) is how it can be done.

Fedora Disseminators to Enable Accessible Repository Content

Calling all accessibility technology experts! What follows is a line of thinking about using characteristics of the FEDORA digital object repository to enable access to content through non-graphical interfaces. Thanks to Linda Newman from the University of Cincinnati and others on the Friday morning DRC Developers conference call for triggering this line of thinking.

In a recent post defining universal disseminators for every object in our repository (if the last dozen words didn’t make sense, please read the linked article and come back), I hinted at having an auditory derivative of each object, at least at the preview level. During today’s conference call, Linda asked if such a disseminator could be used to offer different access points for non-GUI users. Well, why not? Let’s look back at the “presentation” part of the disseminator label: