The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the belief that it is a human right to have access to high-quality education. This is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content; it’s also about participation and co-creation. To quote from the OER Commons, the digital public library and collaboration platform from the nonprofit ISKME:
"OER offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content through engaging educators in new participatory processes and effective technologies for engaging with learning."
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web has said “the social value of the web is that it enables human communication, commerce and opportunities to share knowledge”. By creating accessible OER, you share knowledge and accessibility at the same time.
When you create OER, or work with students to create OER think about creation in a way which removes barriers which prevent or limit users accessing your content. To quote Stephanie/Fen Slattery, a front-end engineer specializing in web accessibility:
"OER accessibility means accessibility should be included in the design of OER and should strive to remove barriers which prevent people with disabilities from using the OER".
If you come to OER creation with the mindset to include accessible content from the outset it will be easier for you to integrate accessibility considerations and content into your process.
“By building accessibility in from the start you can be more inclusive and reach a wider audience. A lot of people will appreciate your efforts - including me.” -- Marian Foley, a content designer
In their 2021 “OER & Beyond” blog post Kristina Clement, Student Success Librarian for the University of Wyoming Libraries and Ksenia Cheinman, Manager of Research for the Canada School of Public Service wrote:
“Designing open educational resources (OERs) with accessibility in mind is a gift of resiliency. It’s a gift to those who have diverse needs, to learning professionals who wish to reuse your resources, and to your future self. Introducing accessibility considerations into your open learning resources is a commitment to resilience – to creating learning for all seasons of life.”
A few basic accessibility tips you can take away from this presentation and use in your OER:
Unless otherwise noted, these accessibility guides were created by Accessibility Librarian Amy Wolfe for CUNY and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you re-use, remix or link to this guide, it would be appreciated if you could notify the creator Accessibility Librarian Amy Wolfe.