This course gives you easy access to an innovative description design framework used and created by experts in description design who design descriptions for highly interactive learning resources.
Interactive learning resources are common, fun, and effective tools that engage learners in the classroom and in remote learning environments. Many of these interactives rely on the visual display. This limits non-visual experiences, and makes many interactive learning resources inaccessible to learners with significant visual impairments or print- and graphics-related disabilities. Descriptions are verbalized text for supporting non-visual access. This course will show you how to create descriptions, the verbalized text, needed to make interactive learning resources (interactives) accessible to learners who are blind or have a visual impairment (learners with BVI). The course weaves together concepts from inclusive design, web accessibility, and general best practices for description design for non-visual access. The main focus of the course is learning about and using the Description Design Framework created by design researchers at PhET Interactive Simulations. Through a series of design tasks, each preempted with examples and demonstrations, the course walks you through how to design descriptions for an interactive of your choosing. While prior experience in web accessibility, interaction design, and description is useful, it is not required for this course. We share many examples from our work, and include tips and design patterns that we have created and actively use to describe our highly interactive science and math simulations. If you have an interest in creating descriptions for interactive learning resources, join us in this course. The Description Design Framework helps us take a methodical approach to the challenging task of designing descriptions for interactives, and we want to share what we know so others can design engaging descriptions that support non-visual access to interactive learning resources.