|Revealing the whiteboard to blind students - An inclusive approach to provide mediation in synchronous e-learning activities
|Aufsatz / Artikel
|André P. Freire,Flávia Linhalis,Sandro L. Bianchini,Renata P.M. Fortes,Maria da Graça C. Pimentel
|Computers & Education, Vol. 54, No. 4
Promoting the inclusion of students with disabilities in e-learning systems has brought many challenges for researchers and educators. The use of synchronous communication tools such as interactive whiteboards has been regarded as an obstacle for inclusive education. In this paper, we present the proposal of an inclusive approach to provide blind students with the possibility to participate in live learning sessions with whiteboard software. The approach is based on the provision of accessible textual descriptions by a live mediator. With the accessible descriptions, students are able to navigate through the elements and explore the content of the class using screen readers. The method used for this study consisted of the implementation of a software prototype within a virtual learning environment and a case study with the participation of a blind student in a live distance class. The results from the case study have shown that this approach can be very effective, and may be a starting point to provide blind students with resources they had previously been deprived from. The proof of concept implemented has shown that many further possibilities may be explored to enhance the interaction of blind users with educational content in whiteboards, and further pedagogical approaches can be investigated from this proposal.
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