We’ve recently crossed a major milestone and now have over 100 Accessible Open Educational Resources available for learners throughout the province and around the world.
Post by BCcampus’ editorial team
Josie Gray, Coordinator of Collection Quality in Open Education at BCcampus, recently informed us that we now have 103 open textbooks in the B.C. Open Textbook Collection that meet our criteria for accessibility. This is fantastic news for all learners, especially those who use assistive technologies to complete their course studies.
What makes an open textbook accessible?
For an open textbook to be accessible, it must conform to the technical Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines ensure that people with disabilities can access digital content, including those who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers. The guidelines specify how to format, describe, and use headings, images, tables, links, colour, audio and video, and more.
In the open education movement, we care a lot about increasing access to education,” shared Josie. “The cost savings provided through OER is one way that we do that. And by designing with accessibility in mind, we can help ensure that all students can access the information in the textbooks we create.
With traditionally published print textbooks, some students don’t have the opportunity to use the learning materials at the same time as the rest of the class. For example, at the start of a new course, a person with visual or cognitive impairments will typically need to go to the institution’s disability resource centre to request an accessible version of the textbook, if there is one available. Open textbooks that are built to be accessible give students the ability to access the materials as soon as the class starts.
Choose accessible OER
Use this automatically updated, complete list of accessible textbooks to ensure the next open textbook you choose is accessible to all of your learners, and don’t be surprised to see the number increase as new materials are verified and added to the list.
Open textbook creators can improve accessibility in the OER they create by using the Accessibility Toolkit– now in its second edition – a collaborative effort between BCcampus and the Centre for Accessible Post-secondary Education Resources BC (CAPER-BC).