by Bernie Goldbach in Thurles, site of #ictedu23
MY PHOTO COLLECTIONS notify me once a day to review images and videos I've uploaded over the past 21 years. Today I remembered Paul Hopkins, the visually impaired podcaster (@vipodasting) who taught me life lessons about accessibility.
In 2015, Paul flew from England to Ireland and then shared his workflow as a visually impaired podcaster. Paul's live podcasting demonstration in the Thurles conference centre influenced several people in the audience to bring the skillset into their classrooms and clubs. His 15 minute session marked the first time that many people had heard an iPhone in Voiceover mode.
I hear Paul's voice today whenever I create written or spoken content. I know his screen readers can give a voice to my blog post, newsletters, and documents. Because of Paul's passion for accessibility, I try to put time codes and expanded content in every podcast I make. I also review my electronic publishing to ensure I put something relevant into ALT tags on images and videos.
People deserve to see and hear accessible content. I need to modify my assessment standards to include academic marks that credit students for following the accessibility prompts in publishing software. I hammer home the need for attribution and relevant references. Conforming to accessibility standards is just as critical.
[Bernie Goldbach helps organise the annual ICT in Education Conference every spring in County Tipperary, Ireland. Paul Hopkins is a manager at All Formats, a social enterprise specialising in creating, producing and transcribing standard print to accessible formats for people with reading difficulties, including Braille, Large Print and Audio]