In many cases, the use of web accessed resources in education is just the same as in any other context. In some cases, however, it is recognised that educational institutions have a special responsibility to ensure their content is accessible to all students, and the duty of care rises when students are identified with particular disabilities. Developing accessible resources from already published materials can be next to impossible. It is essential that educational institutions to think in advance, and develop best practice policies that will ensure the organisation's resources are always accessible to everyone.
Examples of policies with respect to accessibility are available from many sources. It is important to ensure that policies applied in any particular institution fit the legislative requirements that apply to that institution. Australian law requires higher standards of accessibility than some other countries, so Australian institutions should be aware of the differences. See legal section.
Note that many of the policies and guidelines pointed to below, precede the work of W3C, IMS and the passing of legislation such as s.508 rules of the Us Access Board. Best practice suggests that individual institutions should specify their mandated levels of compliance, and the levels for which they aim in the future, including indication of by when such standards should be reached, but that they do not try to write their own sets of standards, guidelines, or other materials. This task is huge and any energy or expertise available for it should be directed towards improving the international standards, so everyone benefits.
For examples of policies and guidelines, follow the links below.
Last updated: 8 March 2002