LexDis was set up 14 years ago as a JISC project with learner experiences becoming a series of strategies that demonstrated ways of overcoming accessibility barriers and finding innovations that support digital learning. COVID-19 has meant these types of strategies have become even more important and technology companies have had to provide improved built in options in settings to enhance access to their online offerings.
We have just secured an Innovate UK funded NLive project that is all about evaluating the outcomes of an “automated quality controlled human collaboratively edited closed-caption and live transmission system”. It is a mouth full as well as a challenge! There are added goals to sort out including digital right management issues, improving recording quality for streamed audio and videos, making use of AI and noise cancellation algorithms as well as pesonalising accessibility options. Lots to achieve in a year!
So at the moment we are planning a series of news blogs that will track the outcomes of our endeavours and we will be asking for help along the way!
When evaluating online services for their usability and accessibility it is important to think about how a system will be used. So when we started to think about the elements that might cause barriers we turned to experts in the field last year, then studied the guidelines and articles to build on the knowledge we had gained in the past.
Just last week (August 16th, 2021) a really interesting article by Gareth Ford Williams came to our notice, thanks to Steve Lee. It was all about UX = Accessibility & Accessibility = UX where Gareth talked about evaluations seeming to ‘focus on guidelines rather than user outcomes’. I think that is what we tried to achieve with LexDis, so once again we are on that journey!
Gareth poses the following thought that we are going to hold onto as we explore ways of making it easier for students to access their online learning systems.
“If we step away from the compliance model and think of accessibility being first and foremost about people and the rich diversity we find within any audience, it starts to raise a lot of questions about what ‘good’ actually is.“
Gareth goes on to mention “10 Human Intersectional UX Obstacles within any Product or Service’s Design” and presents a series of built in settings and strategies to support user preferences. During the coming year we will explore the challenges for an internet multimedia system and present ideas for overcoming them. Wish us luck!