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2016 SPEED Project

In the summer of 2016, ITS and the libraries invited faculty and staff to submit for the Swarthmore Projects for Educational Exploration and Development (SPEED). With the College increasing its efforts to improve accessibility with assistive technologies and universal design, we asked that the proposals focused on remaking/remediating courses as well as any past digital projects the class might have.

The two classes chosen for document remediation were Bio 1 and Econ 12.  The SPEED team tackled both of these classes in similar fashion. First, the team created a matrix to evaluate and assess each document from each class and determine the level of remediation the document would need. Then, the documents were split between three students and the remediation process began using both Adobe Acrobat Pro and Microsoft Word. Feel free to read a detailed description of the steps and process taken in remediation.

A third class was chosen, Poli Sci 22, to remediate and redesign a course website. The SPEED team not only redesigned the site but also improved its functionality, always keeping accessibility and universal design at the center of the redesign process. Initially created on Word Press, the website lacked accessibility functionality along with some other general features required by the faculty. Some of the major improvements made to the site were: replacing a jpeg map to an SVG map, tab functionality, modal window functionality, addition of aria tags and alt-text, and an overall cleanup of the HTML structure to improve screen reader functionality. Visit the American Elections website to see what we accomplished.

A key aspect that was emphasized throughout the project was the importance of documentation. Part of taking on these projects was to learn what it takes to remediate and redesign documents and digital objects not optimized for accessibility and universal design.  Project documentation is available on the SPEED 2016 website (Swarthmore college login required).