Article from The Toronto Star
The inclusive design in digital media program will be in a part-time format starting in January.
When a student asked Humber College professor Anne Zbitnew to ensure videos presented in her class were captioned, she not only fulfilled the request but also recognized a need to help others to understand inclusive design in digital media. As a result, Zbitnew and her research partner, Hillary Rexe, designed a program to address that need. This January, Humber will begin to offer the inclusive design in digital media program in a part-time format.
“We quickly realized there was a bunch of reasons why we should do this,” says Zbitnew, who teaches in the School of Media Studies and Information Technology. “It is really for everyone, from students who would like to make their own media projects accessible and staff, administration and faculty to industry professionals.
“Part of this program addresses being compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The AODA has been around since 2005 and is working towards making Ontario fully accessible by 2025. So, right now, if I have a student who says they need a video to be captioned, according to the AODA, I must provide that. However, in 2025, all media will have to be accessible, whether someone requests it or not. So, this is a timely program but it also goes beyond the AODA.”
Inclusive design in digital media is a 24-hour certificate made up of four courses with each course being completed in two three-hour sessions. In addition to becoming familiar with current AODA legislation and industry standards around inclusive, accessible and universal design, students will also be introduced to writing, designing and formatting captions for video, writing audio descriptions and alternative text for e-readers, and remediation and formatting of accessible Word and PDF documents.
“While will launch as an in-person offering — that will be a combination of lectures and instruction to teach the theory behind it as well as much hands-on as possible by working with YouTube, PDF, Microsoft Word and other software — we are also working on launching an online version in the fall,” says Zbitnew.