Bellevue College: A Promising Practice in Modifying a Web Accessibility Curriculum to be More Practical

Completion of a Web Accessibility course is required to earn a Web Design Certificate at Bellevue College in Washington State. In the original curriculum, a large portion of course content focused on legal cases related to web accessibility. Although it is important to understand the role that laws and regulations play, this is not critical to ensure that web designers and developers can actually develop accessible websites. The course developers decided that it was important to allocate more time to developing practical skills related to building accessible websites.

The revised version of the course increases the amount of information students learn about creating accessible websites, including adding alt tags to images, creating accessible audio and video content, designing webpages that can be navigated with a keyboard and are built using current design and coding standards. As a result, students leave with practical skills that allow them to create websites that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Students who have taken the course respond positively to learning about accessibility and developing technical skills that they will be able to use in their careers.

This course is a promising practice in web accessibility curriculum for both (1) requiring students in the program to learn about accessibility and (2) using formative evaluation to create a course more focused on web accessibility in order to ensure that technology professionals build the skills they need to create websites that are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

For more information about teaching web accessibility, consult WebD2: A Promising Practice in Integrating Accessibility Topics into Curriculum and Are there resources to help me in planning my web accessibility training?