Sometimes it make sense to write a blog piece, and other times it makes sense to send one directly to the source of a story. We recently read in the Boston Globe’s website about this amazing 9- year-old girl, named Sadie, who had invented a better walker. Just to stay on our point that disability isn’t always a bad thing.
You see problems that arise in life can sometimes create wonderful solutions. Not that Disability is a welcome friend, but rather the challenges of disability make many people turn their attention to solutions.
So we suggest you learn more about the young girl from New Hampshire who helped create the “Amazing Curb Climber when she found her mobility was impeded by curbs. The 9-year-old’s contraption won first place for” best use of a wheel” at her elementary school’s Invention Convention.
The Amazing Curb Climber Video Clip
Often when we discuss accessibility at a university, we are soon overwhelmed with the idea of retrofitting or changing all the content we have previously created. For some institutions hundreds of thousands of files, including, web pages, pdf files, and course content can be a chore beyond imagining.
First of All: Tomorrow begins here today. We can’t face the past and eliminate those zillion errors in web design, replace all the inaccessible pdf files, and correct the untagged Word documents. We have to face the future. That way, you begin by equipping the staff, faculty and students with skills designed to eliminate all those errors.
You might as well start where you can make the most difference. That is now.
As recently as December 2016, Microsoft updated Office 365, with the company adding to the accessibility of their cloud product.
One of the biggest changes is moving the foremost is the placing of the Accessibility Checker to make it more prominent across all the main Office apps (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. This should help students, staff, and faculty at East Carolina to be able to find this feature and put it to good use.
The checker was designed to review content (documents, presentations, spreadsheets and email) to determine exactly how accessible it is to those who might have visual, hearing or mobility impairments, making suggestions on how to improve any problems – like adding alternate text description for images (so these will be read out aloud by a screen reader). The accessibility checker can easily be found on the review tab, and this is also true for some of the Office for Mac and Office Online apps.
For additional information regarding Microsoft’s plan of building accessibility into Office 365 read “Plans for 2016” or watch the following video series.