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Accessibility Accessibility

Accessibility Background

The IMS Accessibility workgroup activities focus on adaptation or personalization of resources, interfaces and content to meet the needs of individuals. The group believes the best way to make a system or resource accessible to an individual is by meeting an individual's particular needs immediately within the learning context. Doing so decreases exclusion and increases usability. It is an effective way to meet legal accessibility requirements in many jurisdictions and has many business advantages for expanding the market of potential customers and users.

Why Implement IMS Accessibility Specifications?

Authors and web developers need to be aware of a myriad of parts when it comes to accessibility. This simple graphic shows a construct from content creation to the laws that govern accessibility standards.

 

The creation process illustrated in this image is described in the six numbered paragraphs that follow.

  1. Legal requirements and International standards
    Accessibility legislation seeks to remove barriers to the online learning experience. Legislation is based on the W3C WCAG 2.0 guidelines and informed by independent international standards experts.
  2. Accessibility Settings and Assistive Technologies
    Accessibility settings ensure access through native internal browser settings and external access through a user's assistive technology device (e.g., screen readers).
  3. Platforms, Third Party Software and Digital Products
    Websites can be designed to be more accessible by their conformance to standards and best-practice design principles. This may include accessibility features such as tabbing. navigation and alternative text for images.
  4. Interoperability and Personal Needs and Preference
    Interoperability is the ability of a system or a product to interconnect with other systems and products. IMS Global’s  Access for All™ Personal Needs & Preferences specification gives each user the ability to select personal accessibility needs and preferences and to control the release and presentation of that information within those systems.
  5. Inclusive  Design and Assessment
    Products and services that have inclusive design are accessible and usable by all without special modication or design. The assessment process also includes determining specific learning needs and defining the end goal of instruction in order to create assessments that assist in the student’s success.
  6. Content creation
    Content authors choosing accessibility-enhanced authoring tools and learning strategies can support accessible content creation and a student’s ability to learn without barriers.

Specifications Released

Final

Public Draft



IMS Access For All v3.0 Public Draft Specification

The Accessibility Workgroup has released a public draft of IMS Access for All v3.0. The public draft is provided so that implementers have the opportunity to begin work and provide comments before production of the final specification.

This specification takes a different approach to the data model than earlier versions with the aim to ease the path for early adopter organizations. The data model is small, but easily extendable and includes a Core Profile that gives an even smaller and tighter set of essential elements.

The project group is seeking feedback from the community to ensure the value of the final specification.

The first release of the specification has a high level model that has a UML representation from which XML Schemas are derived. JSON bindings of the specifications are also available. The project group expects to produce bindings and tools for additional technologies.

Please post comments in the public forum. There is an online validator here where files may be tested. A link to a JSON validator is provided in the JSON notes - however, the JSON validator is not an IMS product and may not be used for conformance.


IMS AccessForAll - Version 3 Public Draft Specification - HTML

IMS Access for All (AfA) Primer
IMS Access for All (AfA) Best Practice & Implementation Guide
IMS Access for All (AfA) Core Profiles
IMS Access for All (AfA) Information Model Data Element Specification
IMS Access For All (AfA) Digital Resource Description Specification Information Model
IMS Access for All (AfA) Digital Resource Description (DRD) Binding
IMS Access for All (AfA) Personal Needs & Preferences (PNP) Specification Information Model

IMS Access for All (AfA) Personal Needs & Preferences (PNP) Binding


Access for All JSON Bindings - Note these are not IMS Approved Bindings, but are provided for the benefit of the community. They may not be used for any type of IMS Conformance to the AccessForAll Specification.

IMS AccessForAll - Version 3 Public Draft Specification - XML Examples and Schemas

 

IMS AccessForAll - Version 3 Public Draft Specification - PDF

Download all the pdf documents and schemas


IMS Access For All v2.0 Final Specification

In July 2003, IMS released IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP v1.0 and in August 2004 'Access For All Metadata v1.0' .  Under agreement, these documents were adopted by ISO/IEC SC36 resulting in the publication, in 2008, of:

  • ISO/IEC 24751-1 Access For All  Framework and Reference Model;
  • ISO/IEC 24751-2 Access For All Digital Resource Description;
  • ISO/IEC 24751-3 Access For All Personal Needs and Preferences for Digital Delivery.

Users must purchase these documents from ISO/IEC. The ISO/IEC standard changed the original work to such an extent that there are significant changes in the information model.  Also, ISO/IEC did not publish an XSD binding. 

As a result, IMS has decided to publish a new set of Access For All documents that are consistent with the ISO/IEC ones (They will be technically identical but combine the IMS and ISO/IEC documentation styles).  The IMS approach means that it is also possible for us to easily generate and supply the corresponding XSD binding files. This document set is Access For All v2.0.

The new Access For All  v2.0 document set from IMS will consist of two documents:

1) Access For All Digital Resource Description (which is taken from Access For All Metadata v1.0 );
2) Access For All Personal Needs and Preferences for Digital Delivery  (which is taken from IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP v1.).

IMS AccessForAll - Version 2 Final Specification - HTML

IMS Access For All Digital Resource Description Information Model

IMS Access for All Personal Needs and Preferences Description for Digital Delivery Information Model

IMS AccessForAll - Version 2 Final Specification - XML Examples and Schemas

IMS AccessForAll - Version 2 Final Specification - PDF

Download all the pdf documents and schemas


IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification

The AccessForAll Meta-data specification is intended to make it possible to identify resources that match a user's stated preferences or needs. These preferences or needs would be declared using the IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP specification. The needs and preferences addressed include the need or preference for alternative presentations of resources, alternative methods of controlling resources, alternative equivalents to the resources themselves and enhancements or supports required by the user. The specification provides a common language for identifying and describing the primary or default resource and equivalent alternatives for that resource.

 

This work represents open collaboration between working group members from IMS, Dublin Core, IEEE, CEN-ISSS, Eduspecs as well as other groups. The AccessForAll Meta-data specification is a proposed unified approach to matching user needs and preferences with the resources that address those needs and preferences across the participating specifications bodies.

IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification - Version 1 Final Specification - HTML

IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification - Version 1 Final Specification - XML Examples and Schemas

IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification - Version 1 Final - PDF

Download the PDF documents


IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP

The Accessibility for LIP defines two new sub-schemas for the IMS Learning Information Package that define a means to specify accessibility preferences and learner accommodations. These preferences go beyond support for disabled people to include kinds of accessibility needs such as mobile computing, noisy environments, etc. The <accessForAll> element defines accessibility preferences that were left for future work in the IMS Learner Information Package (LIP) specification version 1.0. The "accessibility" data structure includes the following elements: <language>, <preference>, <eligibility>, and <disability> in the LIP. This specification adds the <accessForAll> element under <accessibility> because it is intended to address the needs of learners beyond those with disabilities. The <disability> element is deprecated henceforth.

The Accessibility for Learner Information Package v1 Final Specification was approved by the IMS Technical Advisory Board in July 2003. Comments and Questions on the final specification should be posted in the Accessibility forum here.

IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP - Version 1 Final Specification - HTML

IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP - Version 1 Final Specification - XML Examples and Schemas

Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP - Version 1 - PDF

Download the PDF documents


 

IMS Guidelines for Developing Accessible Learning Applications

The following set of guidelines developed by the IMS Accessibility Working Group will provide a framework for the distributed learning community. This framework will set the stage for what solutions currently exist, what the opportunities and possibilities are for implementing them, and the areas where more development and innovation are still needed in educational technologies to ensure education that is truly accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Version 1 White Paper - HTML

Version 1 White Paper- PDF

Download the PDF document

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