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OER Guide: Accessibility

Open Educational Resources at Linn-Benton Community College

Why Accessibility?

Due to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), as amended (2008), colleges and universities are obligated to ensure equal access to programs and information, which includes OER. When selecting, adapting, and mixing it is important to review accessible content guidelines to ensure students can access important course materials. 

Accessibility goes further than the previously mentioned Acts. The way in which you are directing students to materials and presenting materials to students can also affect the accessibility. If you are telling students to Google an article title and click on the first one, what happens if the search results change, or that article disappears? If you are giving a print syllabus with long URLs to materials, what happens if students continually mistype it and cannot access the content?

Linn-Benton Community College faculty can contact the Center for Accessibility Resources (CFAR) for help ensuring OER they want to use or create are accessible. Dionna Camp in CFAR has created this helpful Digital Accessiblity 101 Guide if you're using Word, PDF, Powepoint, Google Docs, or other common platforms.  For more Oregon-specific perspectives "The Intersection of Accessibility and Open Educational Resources" by Kaela Parks at Portland Community College is an insightful read. Also, watch the webinar "OER Accessibility Training", available through Open Oregon by Kaela Parks and Lisa Brandt from PCC Disability Services, for an hour-long introductory training.