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Professional Development: Accessibility and Digital Environments Course

June 5-9, 2017
Digital Humanities Summer Institute
University of Victoria, British Columbia

Erin Templeton, Converse College, and George Williams, USC Upstate, are again teaching “Accessibility and Digital Environments” this summer, a week-long course to be offered at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute from June 5-9, 2017 (see details below), hosted by the University of Victoria, British Columbia

Thanks to the generosity of their partners and sponsors, DHSI is able to offer a number of tuition scholarships for their courses. These scholarships are open to all, and cover tuition costs with the exception of a small, non-refundable administration fee. Furthermore, additional tuition scholarships are available specifically for this course. Apply here.

DHSI not only offers several additional opportunities to learn about digital humanities, scholarship, and pedagogy through unconference sessions, panel presentations, guest speakers, and colloquia. In addition, the 2017 Institute will coincide with the 2017 meeting of SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing), so there will be additional opportunities to attend sessions and events for participants.

Accessibility and Digital Environments: course description

In order to successfully reach a wide audience, digital projects must take into account the variety of potential users and their diverse needs. Not everyone accesses information in the same way, though we often assume otherwise. For example, people with disabilities of many different kinds–sensory, physical, and cognitive–represent a significant percentage of users for many digital projects, but most of these projects are designed without thinking about accessibility. However, digital humanists can ensure that they are designing for all users by taking accessibility into account from the beginning of a project. And existing projects can be adjusted and modified to improve their accessibility.

This course will take a two-fold approach: students will read and discuss key works from disability studies scholarship in order to consider various applications for the digital humanities; these readings will form a critical framework for students’ hands-on work with tools that enable them to evaluate and create scholarly digital resources. Mornings will involve readings-based discussions on topics such as emerging standards for accessibility in digital environments, the social model of disability, user-centered design, and embodiment. Afternoons will be reserved for guided individual exercises and small-group work. Students are encouraged to bring their own projects or project ideas in order to evaluate them for accessibility and to make or plan changes as appropriate. Knowledge of and experience with web design is not required, but curiosity and a willingness to learn are a necessity.

For more information about DHSI.

If you have any questions or concerns about the “Accessibility and Digital Environments” course, please do not hesitate to contact Erin Templeton, Converse College, and George Williams, USC Upstate.

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