Virtual Learning Accessibility Toolkit – Guidelines on accessible digital educational materials and virtual learning environment
This Virtual Learning Accessibility Toolkit contains 3 major sections, namely Basic concepts, Practical tips, and Resources.
- Basic concepts – This section introduces several rights-based guiding principles, and the roles and responsibility of different university members, to set a common ground for further understanding of subsequent chapters.
- Practical tips – This section first provides basic tips of creating accessible graphics, hyperlinks, tables, and text, as well as the use of inclusive and the accessible use of colour. It then elaborates on the systematic and practical guidelines on creating accessible materials that cover 17 examples of authoring tools and digital materials such as Word documents, PowerPoint, and PDF. It also suggests 13 general guiding questions regarding the selection of e-learning tools from the accessibility perspective, as well as some tips on delivering accessible livestreaming session. The recommended accessibility practices basically follow the temporal sequence of creating digital educational materials and delivering a livestreaming session.
- Resources – This section provides two templates for download, a list of examples of relevant local community resources, and list of examples of resources at HKU regarding e-learning, accessibility support in teaching and learning, and disability awareness and disability inclusion.
This Toolkit is one of the deliverables of the Project entitled “Promoting accessibility of virtual teaching and learning through a train-the-trainer approach” funded by the UGC Special Grant for Strategic Development of Virtual Teaching and Learning in 2021-2023.
Ma, G. Y. K., Choi, C., & Yeung, P. P. S. (2023). Virtual Learning Accessibility Toolkit – Guidelines on accessible digital educational materials and virtual learning environment. HKU Data Repository. https://doi.org/10.25442/hku.22579006
Points to note:
- This Toolkit is intended to serve as a general guide for creating accessible digital materials and virtual learning environment. The recommended practices in this Toolkit are not exhaustive, definitive, or the best solutions for each situation. Teaching and learning practices might vary across academic disciplines, as well as individual preferences and needs. The recommended practices need to be fit and applied to various disciplinary contexts and authentic practices.
- Please be aware that fulfilling all the practices suggested by this Toolkit would not guarantee “full accessibility”. Use this Toolkit along with other resources, consideration of the contexts, and your own best judgment. Always be aware of and respect the diverse access needs of different individuals.
- Software, programmes, and operating systems are constantly and rapidly developing along with changing accessibility functions. Statements in this Toolkit about the accessibility-related functions of any software, programmes, and operating systems may no longer represent their current status.
- The Project team strives to provide up-to-date and correct information as well as functional hyperlinks of the cited resources in this Toolkit. However, it is possible that some of these resources might be edited or removed by the corresponding contributors after the publication of this Toolkit.
- This Toolkit does not contain any business promotion elements. The resources do not represent the viewpoint of the Project team.
- The recommended practices in this Toolkit are basically about accessibility to people with disabilities. However, the practices are central to good teaching and learning practices and will benefit all users regardless of disability status.