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A Comparison of Learning Management System Accessibility

"If not designed with accessibility in mind, Learning Management Systems (LMS) can pose accessibility problems for students and instructors with disabilities." The four authors of this paper, all accessibility experts in higher education settings, have been engaged in improving accessibility of various LMS over several years. This paper was presented at the 2011 Educause Conference. Categories that were tested include Login/Configuration/Compatibility Testing, Personalization/Customization, Navigation, Common Modules/Tools, Forms, Authoring Tools/Content Creation, Help/Documentation, and Unique Features that Affect Accessibility.

H. Rangin, M. Thompson, B. Richwine, K. Petri (Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN) Listserve)

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability