Instructor: Arduser Online

This course is aimed at introducing students in the humanities to disability studies and web accessibility. We will read articles and tutorials on web accessibility and pair them with theoretical arguments from disability studies.

Questions we interested in examining in the course include:

  1. How do people with disabilities, including students with disabilities, access electronic information? What laws regulate the accessibility of electronic information in general and for educational institutions specifically?
  2. What responsibilities do we have as teachers, scholars, critics, and technology users to the sizable percentage of people in this country who are disabled? (According to 2010 U.S. Census data, approximately 20% of the civilian noninstitutionalized population over the age of 15 is disabled.)
  3. What theoretical and ethical perspectives (e.g. disability studies, universal design, aging studies) should motivate our efforts to create inclusive digital environments?

Topics from disability studies will include: constructing normalcy, eugenics, identity politics, disability models (social, deficit, medical, charity), deaf studies, cognitive disabilities, blind studies and visual culture, feminism and sexuality, disability in film, autism, genetics and reproductive rights, prosthetics, and global perspectives.

Topics in web accessibility will include tutorials and information on: closed captioning, video description, color contrast tools, screen readers, screen magnifiers, style sheets, web accessibility checkers, pdf accessibility, accessibility testing, laws and standards (Section 508, WCAG 2.0, CVAA), usability testing, social media accessibility, iPhone and smartphone accessibility, universal design, and creating accessible images.