Creating Accessible Materials Reduces Stress Later

My mother’s words still ring in my ears: “Measure twice, cut once.” I did a lot of sewing growing up and have learned that one hasty snip of the shears can lead to frustration, loss of time, and cost of additional materials.

In preparing a course, when considering accessibility, a similar principle exists: Do it right the first time. Trust me, you will save yourself considerable stress if you keep accessibility in mind when creating materials instead of facing the daunting task of making changes under the pressure of time.

Focusing on accessibility is essential for accommodating students with disabilities and beneficial for all students, consistent with the principles of Universal Design for Learning.

The following content was submitted to the Teaching Tips Consortium of the POD Network by
Kevin S. Wilson, Instructional Design Consultant
Center for Teaching and Learning, Boise State University

In Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Steve Krug notes that making digital information accessible to everyone is “not just the right thing to do; it’s profoundly the right thing to do.”

Krug says, “the one argument for accessibility that doesn’t get made nearly often enough is how extraordinarily better it makes some people’s lives. How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people’s lives just by doing our job a little better?”

Learning a few key principles will allow you to do your job just a little bit better. So, get started creating:

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