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Accessibility : Accessibility and OER

Accessibility and OER

Open Educational Resources (OER) can increase efficiency when materials are published under a license that permits the creation of derivative works (all Creative Commons licenses that do not contain the NoDerivaties (ND) condition allow this). OER can be translated into other languages and transformed into alternate formats–such as for display on mobile devices–more easily than materials published under all rights reserved copyright. MIT OpenCourseWare uses the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license (BY-NC-SA). Nearly 800 MIT OCW courses have been translated into other languages, all without needing to ask permission from the copyright holder.

Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library for persons with print disabilities. Bookshare was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Education aimed at creating the first accessible versions of open digital textbooks. U.S. Copyright law permits some authorized entities to make accessible copies of books–and permits particular authorized disabled persons to access these vetted versions. This access is incredibly important, but the exception is limited, and does not apply for users outside of the United States. Open textbooks are low hanging fruit if they are released under a license that permits the creation of derivative works, because these can be more easily converted into accessible formats, such as audio and Braille refresh. No extra permissions costs have to be incurred or royalties paid for these adaptations to take place.

Source: http://creativecommons.org/tag/accessibility

Accessibility Tools

Creating Accessible Documents

Resources for Color and Screen Readers

Resources for color contrast:

Screenreaders and other resources:

University of Illinois Videos on W3C Content Accessibility

Accessibility is more than just screen readers

Attribution:[GitHub] (2017, Dec. 19) Accessibility: it's more than just screen readers - GitHub Universe 2017 [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/RGIV75r2H-Y

Accessibility for Course Design

Accessibility at Blackboard 

Blackboard is fully committed to delivering product experiences that conform to the highest levels of global accessibility standards. We believe that a mature digital accessibility program must establish a sustainable organizational culture around accessibility.

Accessibility for Course Design

Assistive Technologies

Accessibility Masterlist


This MasterList, edited by Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D., is designed to serve as a resource for researchers, developers, students, and others interested in understanding or developing products that incorporate one or more of these features.

Each feature or approach is then listed below along with applicable disabilities to each feature are marked with the following icons:

  • B - Blindness (For our purposes, blindness is defined as no or very low vision - such that text cannot be read at any magnification)
  • LV - Low Vision
  • CLL - Cognitive, Language, and Learning Disabilities (including low literacy)
  • PHY - Physical Disabilities
  • D/HOH - Deaf and Hard of Hearing


American Sign Language Dictionary


Search and compare thousands of words and phrases in American Sign Language (ASL). The largest collection of free video signs online.

Braille Translator 


Brailletranslator.org is a simple way to convert text to braille notation. This supports nearly all Grade Two braille contractions.

Voyant Tools (Corpus Analysis)


Voyant Tools is an open-source, web-based application for performing text analysis. It supports scholarly reading and interpretation of texts or corpus, particularly by scholars in the digital humanities, but also by students and the general public. It can be used to analyze online texts or ones uploaded by users. (Source: Wikipedia)

OER Research Toolkit

OER Research Toolkit

The OER Research Toolkit is comprised of the OER Research Guidebook and several additional resources. The creation of the OER Research Guidebook was generously supported by the Open Textbook Network.