Illumina and partner IBIS Hold Accessibility Workshop at The Carroll Center for the Blind

Participants from Illumina and their long-time partner IBIS Consulting Group explored accessibility in a session at The Carroll Center for the Blind, led by Bruce Howell, the center’s Director of Accessibility Services. Howell offered recommendations for accessibility offerings based on his work at the center, where he heads a group providing accessibility review and consulting, as well as his firsthand perspective as a blind learner. He put the group in the shoes of disabled learners by leading them through the experience of using a screen reader. The exercise demonstrated firsthand some of the challenges that blind learners must overcome - the screen reader proved a difficult task for inexperienced sighted learners due to the surprisingly rapid rate of narration. Howell used a portion of IBIS/Illumina’s Unconscious Bias course to demonstrate the example because of its successful application of accessibility principles, including accessible text and labeling, along with suitable versions of interactivities for screen reader use. The group left with an appreciation for the types of accessibility challenges that disabled learners encounter in online training material. Howell’s session also served as an important reminder that when designing learning, there should be one common principle that all learners, including those with disabilities, equally gain from the learning experience.