Education

US Government releases FAQs for accessible eReader laws and rules

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The United States Department of Education has released a new guide that provides further clarification for schools and colleges about the laws and rules they must follow to ensure eBook readers and other emerging technologies are accessible to all students.

The guide is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the June 29, 2010, Dear Colleague Letter that was sent to college and university presidents expressing concern that these institutions were using electronic book readers that were inaccessible to people who were blind or vision impaired.

The FAQs, released on 26 May 2011, reinforce that the same considerations apply to:

Digital media and technology: 

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NBC Learn captions educational videos to include all learners

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NBC Learn, the education arm of NBC News in the US, has announced that it will provide closed captioning on educational videos available on NBCLearn.com, an online resource for teachers and students in the US.

NBC Learn offers video resources from NBC news (the news branch of American television network NBC), documentaries and other teaching aids for use in the classroom.

Captions have proven literacy benefits for all students. They are essential for Deaf and hearing impaired students and can boost comprehension for ESL students, struggling readers and children with a learning disability.


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Positive move toward an inclusive Australian Curriculum

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The Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) has emphasised its commitment to the consideration of students with special needs in the upcoming Australian Curriculum.

ACARA acknowledge in their recent newsletter that there are necessary challenges in the provision of a curriculum suitable for students with various special needs, but that as a result “it will make Australia one of the few nations in the world with a model of curriculum provision for these students”.

Media Access Australia is enthusiastic about the potential benefits to students who have sensory impairment that will result from the development of a new and inclusive curriculum.


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