ETEC 674- Session 4

Session 4

ADA Assignments

  1. What are three types of disabilities that students in a course you create might have? Explain the accommodations that you would need to provide for each.
  • Visual Impairment- Low vision
    • I would use a high contrast background with the text.
    • The font in any document that I share with students would be changeable to give them the option to choose a text that they can see well.
    • By giving them a text version of my lecture, they would be able to change not only the font, but also the size of the text to fit their needs.
    • For blind students, they can also use screen readers and the alt tag feature that will describe any visual media to the user.
  • Auditory Impairment
    • I would make sure students had alternatives to the audio lecture including a text version.
    • I would create videos and slide shows that would include captions for any audio.
  • Seizures
    • I would avoid any flickering images, fast animations, and high contrast close lines on my website and in multi-media presentations.
  1. According to the text, what is the percentage of the population that has a visual, auditory or physical limitation? How does that compare to other sources for this information. (Please list at least one other source you found.)

According to Waterhouse (2005), 29% of people in the population have visual, auditory, and/or physical limitations. The U.S. Census from 2010 reports that 20% of people are living with some type of disability. I think the data from the Waterhouse book may be a little out of date since it was published in 2005, and even the census data is already five years old.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau Report, there are 1 in 5 people living with a disability, or 20%. They also say that 54 million people have a disability, including 5% of people age 5 to 17, 10% of people age 18 to 64, and 38% of people 65 and older. On the twentieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, they also reported that 12.4% of females had a disability, while 11.7% of males had a disability. There were 1.8 million people who had trouble with text, 1 million who could not hear, 2.5 millions with speech issues, and 16.1 people with limited cognitive functioning, mental illness, or emotional illness, or 7% of the population over the age 15. Some interesting educational facts that they shared were that 28% of people with a disability of the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma, compared to only 12% of the rest of the population. 31% of the population has at least a bachelor’s degree, but only 13% of people with a disability have at least a bachelor’s degree.

  1. Identify three factors other than the actual disabilities that exist in your student population that influence how an institution or a course creator is required to address ADA in an online course.
  • Students with behavior problems- I would have to make sure that the students with behavior problems that do things to disrupt the learning of themselves and other would behave appropriately online. Digital Citizenship is important for all of my students because I need to be able to trust them to go online period. When creating my course, I would have to think about how students might misuse certain components, such as downloading a photo I have posted and editing it, and posting it on a social network.
  • English Learners- We have a large population of English Learners and even some newcomer students who are brand new to our country. They would need more scaffolding for the information that I post on our class website. For example, if we were learning about word roots, I would include a link to the site about that particular root word. Of course, this scaffolding would actually benefit all of my students because they all seem to struggle with word roots.
  • Poverty- Some students may be lacking in technology skills because of the lack of technology resources at home and at school. It might take them longer to type out a response if they are using the hunt and peck method for typing. The instructor would have to think about what the student could do to show him or her that they’ve learned the concept.
  1. According to the text, what is “assistive technology”? Give some examples.

Assistive technologies is a combination of hardware and software designed to help overcome disadvantages that disabled students face when viewing and navigating web pages. Some examples of assistive technology that can be used when the user cannot use a traditional mouse are:

  • Voice activated mouse
  • Voice recognition software (Dragon Dictation is an example)
  • Alternative keyboards
  • Mouth activated switch
  1. Identify and explain two different ways to check a webpage to ensure that it meets the needs of disabled students.

There are two websites: WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) and CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) that focus on making material on the Internet accessible to all students. CAST launched the application Bobby that would report how the site complied with the standards for disability access. However, they sold Bobby in 2004, and IBM acquired it in 2007.

WebAIM has a checklist that includes four overarching goals:

  1. Perceivable- Web content is made available to the senses- sight, hearing, and/or touch
  2. Operable- Interface forms, controls, and navigation are operable
  3. Understandable- Content and interface are understandable
  4. Robust- Content can be used reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.


According to, you can check for accessibility by:

  1. Increasing the text size on the web page to make sure all the text becomes larger and that the text does not get cut off or disappears.
  2. All images must have an alt text option that offers a detailed description of the image.
  3. Identify two types of presentations used in online courses (for example, podcasts, PowerPoints, Videos, Slide Shows, etc.) and that you might use and explain how you can ensure that each is ADA compliant. Discuss the relative cost or difficulty of producing the accommodation.


Podcasts are easy to produce and cost little money to create. They are designed for the learner to hear the lecture. The instructor records himself or herself giving a lecture and shares the audio with the students in the class on the class website. The student clicks on the file and listens to the podcast. Students with visual disabilities can listen to the podcast without missing anything. Students with auditory disabilities can read the text with the instructor, or reread it by themselves if the instructor makes the text available to the students. There is no other media available during a podcast besides the audio and the text.

A PowerPoint is a fairly easy way to produce and create visual information to support the learning objectives of a course. It can be created with a high contrast background and text. This makes it easier to see. The PowerPoint can also include images and videos. These are all important for the learning with the hearing impairment because now they are able to see what they’ve been hearing about. It would be difficult to include the alt text for every image on the slideshow, but it also makes the instructor choose only the very best images to include in the slideshow. Also, captions should be added to any embedded videos or audio clips.


  1. Develop a course usability checklist that is appropriate for your anticipated needs. Use the example provided in the text as a starting point and explain your modifications.
Features Yes No Comments
Easy to navigate?
Announcements easy to view?
Easy to find what you want?
Easy to return to start?
Are the resources for the class located in the same place so that they are easy to find each time you need them?
Is the course broken down into modules?
Is the text of any audio/video available for the student?
Files download quickly?
Effective web design?
Documents print OK?
Easy to find how to get help?
Forum features easy to use?
Easy to respond to forum topic?
Tutorials easy to use?

I added the questions “Are the resources for the class located in the same place so that they are easy to find each time you need them?” and “Is the course broken down into modules?” because those are the most problematic areas for me when I talk an online course, and I can’t imagine how students with disabilities would be able to navigate them to find what they needed. I also deleted some features that related to tools such as the whiteboard, calendar, gradebook, and online tests because my sixth grade students would not need those extra features. I also added a “text of audio/video available” feature to my

  1. Choose an online course and use your checklist to generate a report on the usability of that course. Your report should include bullet points of things that you recommend be done to improve the usability of specific elements of the course.

Illuminate Training Course- We have a new online data program in our district and I have to learn how to use it, so I had to login to our district Haiku page to find this class.

Features Yes No Comments
Easy to navigate? x
Announcements easy to view? NA
Easy to find what you want? x
Easy to return to start? x
Are the resources for the class located in the same place so that they are easy to find each time you need them? x
Is the course broken down into modules? x There are four modules and each one has a set of instructional videos with captions for that module.
Files download quickly? x Videos play quickly
Is the text of any audio/video available for the student? x There are no available transcripts of the videos that are posted on the course page. These should be made available to all students, and would really benefit students with visual disabilities.
Effective web design? x
Documents print OK? NA- There is nothing to print.
Easy to find how to get help? X
Forum features easy to use? x The tab “Connect” has a link to the discussion page.
Easy to respond to forum topic? NA
Tutorials easy to use? x I used one to learn how to build a report.



One comment

  1. Hi Griselda,
    I really liked reading your response for number 3, identify 3 other factors other than disabilities that influence how we design courses that are compliant with ADA. You mentioned teaching Digital Citizenship as a way to assist and scaffold for students who struggle with behavior problems. That is a great place to start for all students and most often it is overlooked. Our district has some lessons already planned out, so it would be great for all grade levels to start incorporating them at some point of the school year. That would help our sixth graders be more prepared to be responsible digital learners.

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