Equitable access to information and technology is a basic human right, and accessibility is a core tenant of ATE’s mission. This blog post highlights resources that will assist ATE community members in continuing to create materials that are accessible to all. Do you have some favorite STEM sites or online resources you’d like to share with the ATE community? We’d love to help – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Develop accessible lesson plans with the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials.
The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center) is a nonprofit initiative that provides resources and technical assistance for “educators, parents, students, publishers, conversion houses, accessible media producers, and others interested in learning more about AEM.” Here, instructors will find a wealth of well-organized information and resources for accessible education. The Supporting Learners section categorizes this information by age group, including higher education and workforce development resources, and contains a directory of AEM contacts for each state. Educators who create their own resources may want to explore the Creating AEM section, which includes information on the Best Practices for Educators & Instructors.
Make digital content accessible with Google Web Fundamentals: Accessibility.
Google Tech Writers created this resource on the fundamentals of web accessibility “to help you understand how you can make your websites accessible and usable for everyone.” Drawing on the basic principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, this manual covers auditing your site for areas of improvement, writing semantics into web pages to make them compatible with assistive technologies, and styling visual elements for flexible and universal use.
Follow best practices for universal website design with Dos and Don’ts on Designing for Accessibility.
In a similar fashion, interaction designer Karwai Pun developed The Dos and Don’ts on Designing for Accessibility, a series of six helpful posters that provide guidelines for creating websites and other web-based publications that are accessible to people with disabilities. Visitors can explore and download these posters courtesy of the UK Government's Digital Service blog. Individual posters provide helpful hints for making web design accessible to those who are on the autism spectrum, use screen readers, have low vision, have physical and motor disabilities, who are deaf or hard of hearing, and users with dyslexia. These materials are available for use under a Creative Commons license on GitHub.
Support STEM learners transitioning to higher education with Stairway to STEM.
Launched in 2018 by Pellet Media, Stairway to STEM provides “resources for autistic students,” as well as “students on the autism spectrum transitioning from high school to college, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.” The site categorizes its resources by audience, with sections dedicated to Students, Families, and Educators. Additionally, the visitors will find multimedia resources, including two E-Books (available for download by making a free account). One of these e-books, Imagine Your Future in STEM: College Transition, Achievement, and Further Educational and Professional Advancement, contains an in-depth discussion of the “college transition” process that may prove of particular interest to post-secondary instructors.