Accessibility, Audio Texts, and the Persistence of Print

On The Chronicle of Higher Education, Assistant Director of Educational Technology at Yale University Michelle Morgan asks education professionals to consider the historical bias toward printed text, and to look for opportunities to consider alternative methods of delivering course materials. This will be of benefit not just for the students who need it, but all students, because in doing so professors and teachers can flesh out the learning experience.

Ms. Morgan calls herself an “Ed-Techer,” which means her role is to “remediate course materials for students, and show faculty members how to make their course materials more accessible.” Asking faculty,” she says, “to make their course materials accessible is challenging. The belief that the effort is too great considering the small percentage of students who use screen readers or need other assistive technologies is pervasive.” On the other hand, “when done well, audio text gives listeners additional layers of information. A world of tone and pacing bolsters a narrative, making its meanings clearer and more memorable. Making readings accessible, then, might require more than making them screen readable.

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