pedagogical culture for accessibility education

This week marked the 13th International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility conference (Web For All, #W4A2016 as it’s also known), this year hosted in Montreal, Canada.  I’ve co-authored papers for the conference before in 2010 Brian Kelly and David Sloan (Developing countries; developing experiences: approaches to accessibility for the real world)  and again in 2012 with Martyn Cooper, David and Brian (see A challenge to web accessibility metrics and guidelines: putting people and processes first). This year’s theme was ‘Education for All on the Web’ and on Monday David Sloan presented our joint communication paper ‘Exploring pedagogical culture for accessibility education in Computing Science‘, which focused on the teaching and learning of accessibility in higher educaton.

David Sloan presents our research on the pedagogical culture of accessibility at W4A 2016 in Montreal, Canada.
David Sloan presents our research on the pedagogical culture of accessibility at W4A 2016 in Montreal, Canada. Image by @LuzRello

Here’s the abstract:

This paper identifies some of the challenges of teaching and learning accessibility through the lens of pedagogy (which deals with the theory and practice of education). We argue that accessibility education in computing science presents a set of unique and challenging characteristics for those engaged in accessibility capacity building. Significant moves are being made to embed accessibility within academic curricula and professional domains. However, through a qualitative thematic review of the accessibility pedagogic literature, we find that the field lacks the pedagogic culture necessary to support widespread excellence in teaching and learning. Nonetheless, our review identifies aspects of this small but important literature that indicate how a pedagogic culture for accessibility can be stimulated through research, debate and discussion, to promote a more pedagogically-grounded approach to the field as a whole.

An open access copy of the full paper is available on the Southampton ePrints repository (accessible PDF). We’ve also published the full bibliography of the 2005-2015 papers we reviewed as part of our exploration of the literature. David has added our slides to slideshare (see below).

I’m planning to continue developing this line of thinking and research. If this is an area you’re interested in, or working on, please get in touch.

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