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Adapting Video for VI Learners
Making best use of unmodified materials
Multimedia packages are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for self-study within a course. Effective use implies the student learning new skills, and teachers checking package suitability against special criteria.
Teachers also shouldn't assume that students know how to use new media. Some training may be needed, particularly so that students
Packages can be built to be very accessible to VI students (and we describe how in our sections on new designs). However, off-the-shelf materials are often not tailored in these ways, so that before such software can be used, teachers need to review how usable it will be by their VI student.
Checking for accessibility
Such a 'usability audit' has to be broader than a review of the package itself. For one thing, and as always, individual needs mean that software should be assessed in the context of the particular student's visual impairments. Then again, the college will typically have settled on one standard computer operating system: this platform will offer its own built in access aids, and teachers should consider their usefulness for the multimedia materials and the students needs. There is also the issue of format and control variety. As the name implies, multimedia materials present a wealth of information types:
Moreover, navigation through a typical multimedia package and interaction with its dynamic content implies use of one or more of the following display and control systems:
So unlike the review of a video, say, analysing multimedia for personal access problems means considering each of these elements separately. A good starting point is an assessment from the student about any problems they already have with each of these, outside the context of multimedia.
Here are some issues for your review: