As part of its ongoing effort to ensure an equitable experience online, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) offers a wealth of resources on accessibility. One such resource is its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), through which individuals from all walks of life, from developers to policy-makers can access videos, guidelines, explanations, and more.
Today, however, the W3C has taken a substantial step forward in enlightening the population on accessibility. It has partnered with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) to create a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) based on the WAI open curricula. The edX-hosted course, “Introduction to Web Accessibility,” will teach participants the fundamentals of web accessibility as well as why it’s so important to aim for an accessible web experience. “Introduction to Web Accessibility” will join the W3C’s existing offerings on edX, which has already seen an enrollment of almost one million students to date.
Shadi Abou-Zahra, W3C Accessibility Strategy and Technology Specialist, is especially excited about the new course. “Building skills and capacities are equally important to the implementation of digital accessibility as technical standards,” he noted. “This course provides the fundamental skills that are increasingly important across digital professions today and in the future.”
Expert trainers for a better experience
What makes this course especially exciting is its breadth of educators. Trainers include experts from W3C Member organizations worldwide, including TPGi. TPGi has a long history of active participation in several W3C working groups and intends to continue to provide support for ongoing W3C initiatives like this MOOC. At TPG, we embody the sentiment “be the change you wish to see in the world,” and work tirelessly to promote, support, and educate individuals everywhere about the criticality of digital accessibility.
In addition to being part of the W3C Advisory Board, members of the TPGi team chair the Web Platform and Pointer Events Working Groups, lead the Mobile Accessibility Task Force, facilitate Task Forces on CSS Accessibility, maintain a membership with the Silver Task Force (Accessibility Guidelines), and are editors for specifications including HTML, HTML Accessibility API Mappings, SVG Accessibility API Mappings, and Pointer Events.
We’ve been a longtime supporter of the W3C and our vision of creating a more inclusive digital future aligned closely on this project. TPGi is committed to raising awareness of web accessibility and have found training and understanding of accessibility critical in making technology accessible.
Our work on the “People and Digital Technologies” module was perfect for TPGi because it’s what we know best. Individuals who take this module will be able to learn about the broad diversity of people with disabilities and the different types of assistive technologies and adaptive strategies. They will also recognize the impact of design decisions on accessibility for people and begin to explain some of the interdependencies between components of web accessibility.
Looking toward the future of accessibility
As technology evolves so too does the World Wide Web, and we as accessibility thought-leaders are evolving along with it. TPGi is proud to support the joint effort between the W3C and UNESCO IITE and is excited to educate scores of future students about the exciting and rewarding world of digital accessibility.