The conference featured day-long activities that addressed teaching and technology issues present in today’s higher education curricula.
The conference featured multiple workshops that presented solutions to some of those issues, including how colleges can better integrate ADA compliant technologies on campus, and how to increase classroom collaboration with technology.
Jeff Coburn, Senior Web Services Manager at UMass Boston led a session called “A Presentation on the 508 Refresh that Never Was,” which detailed Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and how its progress has been slacking since 2006.
Coburn said that even though the committees behind the 508 are behind on their promised progress, he has seen a draft of it, and the public can too.
He also said that colleges should not slack on the accessibility to their ADA compliant technologies either.
“There are people that you know that have disabilities,” Coburn said. “Your duty is to include those people in your work.”
Coburn also covered the most common disabilities seen in higher education, and which technologies colleges can make accessible to students.
He said that mobile solutions are gaining popularity in students with disabilities.
“Technologies like VoiceOver on Mobile is interactive and can be used on mobile devices,” Coburn said. “Technologies like this are built into devices. Computer and laptop industries screwed up years ago when this started, during years where there was no good, adapted technology. Now that we have some awareness, you see a lot of cool stuff on mobile.”
Coburn also detailed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), and the role it plays with Section 508 to make web content more accessible to students with disabilities.