Karina joined Media Access Australia as Education Assistant in mid-2010.
What have been a few of the highlights of 2010 for you in your area of access?
One highlight for me has been working on the growth of the Accessible Education Database (AED). As a 'go-to' point for educators seeking captioned material, the AED serves a very valuable role in promoting the value of captioned educational content and the needs of students with hearing impairment. It sends a message to educators that there is accessible educational content out there, and emphasises one of our key messages: ‘Captions first choice, only choice.
As a relatively new member of the Media Access family, another highlight for me was joining the Classroom Access Project (CAP) when it was already under way. It was such a positive experience to meet the teachers and students involved, and to then see the development of the project leading up to its conclusion only two weeks ago. Wrapping up the project, it was fantastic to see that the strong concept had been so practical and effective.
What was involved in the growth of the AED?
As Education Assistant, one of my roles is entering captioned resources into the AED. Each year the federally-funded Captioning Grant is used to caption educational material across a variety of subjects, and each of these resources is added to the database. Further from this, captioned titles suggested by teachers, for example the teachers involved in the CAP, are also added. I’m looking forward to working to expand the database in 2011!
What was one of the challenges faced in your area in 2010?
As a national organisation, part of our role is to build strong ties with educators from across the country and across all sectors. Maintaining these strong communication channels with the wide variety of people who we want to reach is an ongoing challenge.
How do you see accessibility improving in 2011?
With the early stages of introduction of the Australian Curriculum, I see an enormous opportunity for improved accessibility in education. As educators must re-adjust their approach to suit the new curriculum, the timing is right to consider their existing practices and attitudes, and how they might develop these with a view to maximising access and inclusion in their classrooms. It is a rare opportunity for teachers to take stock and embark on this new phase of Australian education with a renewed focus on equitable practice.
What’s your top pick for a gift with accessible features this festive season?
Check out the access programs at the Art Gallery of NSW. They have a whole range of accessible options on offer, including tours interpreted in Auslan, audio-described tours and tours with a focus on the tactile aspects of the exhibits. With some of their accessible programs targeted at children, it's a perfect gift for the family.
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