All schools at Johns Hopkins University must take reasonable and meaningful action to ensure that newly authored content as of January 1, 2021 consistently meets industry accessibility standards, specifically Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. WCAG 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making content more accessible to a wider range of people. These standards ensure that students with disabilities gain equal access to all content at JHU and will also improve teaching and learning for everyone by providing alternate and complementary versions of content. For a useful, easily digestible starting point, please visit this WCAG checklist.
At Peabody, we believe that accessibility is critical for all learners, and we have been continuously implementing solutions and content to address these needs. We have fully implemented the Simple Syllabus platform, which is natively WCAG compliant; we have adopted Panopto, which offers built-in machine captioning for all videos; we have adopted Zoom, which offers built-in captioning of recordings, and will soon integrate automated captioning of live events; we have encouraged the use of eReserves in your courses through the Arthur Friedheim Library; and we recently adopted Blackboard Ally, a tool for assessing content accessibility and providing alternate versions of content automatically within the Blackboard learning management system.
To support Peabody’s efforts to meet these expectations relative specifically to teaching and learning, the Learning Innovation (LI) team has created an evolving set of resources. All Peabody faculty have access to the Blackboard organization Faculty Digital Teaching Resources (JHED authentication required). In that site, a newly updated “Accessibility” section has been added with all the information you will need to meet these requirements, along with information on how to get more help.
At a minimum, faculty need to:
Resources for all of these requirements – including Office templates, PDF guidelines, image and video help, and advanced resources – can be found on the Faculty Digital Teaching Resources site mentioned above (JHED authentication required).
Training will also be provided throughout the academic year to ensure faculty and other content creators are up to date on these expectations.