Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Grant 2: Teach Access: Expanding the Curriculum Repository

For individuals with disabilities, technology can foster independence and enhance quality of life. A volunteer-driven collaboration among industry, academia, and disability groups, Teach Access develops models for teaching and training students in technology to help ensure that new products are accessible to people with disabilities. The organization approached RDPFS to expand its ability to accomplish this goal. Devices and software need to be “born accessible,” meaning that upon release, an app, website, or device can be used by people with disabilities or interface reliably with the individual’s technology. However, that is often not the case. Technology companies dedicated to accessibility have faced challenges in preparing designers, engineers, and researchers to build inclusively so that individuals with disabilities can use the technology. Academic programs also seek ways to better prepare students to meet diverse needs. The Teach Access Curriculum Repository (TACR), launched in 2022, helps to bridge the technology gap. TACR, a “free collection of open education resources (OER),” supports teaching accessibility. RDPFS support will expand TACR by creating courses, adding instructional designers to maintain and house courses for the repository, and increasing awareness and access to resources. This will contribute to the overall strategy of Teach Access to introduce as many students as possible to accessibility-infused curricula to build toward a future workforce skilled in creating technology that is “born accessible.”