AccessForAll accessibility promotes an inclusive learning experience by enabling the matching of the characteristics of resources to the needs and preferences of individual learners. In circumstances where resources might not be, or even where they are, suitable for all learners, it enables the discovery of appropriate resources. AccessForAll is an approach to accessibility and inclusion that emphasizes personalization by providing support for systems of transformable, flexible resources that each meet different needs.
AccessForAll accessibility is often just-in-time accessibility and, significantly, supports cumulative accessibility of resources as third parties create and associate alternatives to original resources. Together, the many resources in a system contain the features or educational materials that every student needs, but no single resource must be 100% accessible to every kind of learner. Most resources will likely be accessible to most students, but by creating AccessForAll metadata about each resource, it is easier to determine which resources might need to be adapted to meet an individual’s needs.
AccessForAll includes a standard way to describe a learner’s needs and preferences. These preferences are not meant to convey information such as medical history. Instead, it includes information about how the learner can interact best with a computer. The learner’s need for specific kinds of content, display features, or control mechanisms are recorded. This information can then be used to select or request appropriately adapted content, configure a visual display for easy reading, or locate resources that match the learner’s control requirements.
Information about the AccessForAll specification, including information models, bindings, and various Best Practice guides, can be found on the IMS Global Learning Consortium website: http://imsglobal.org/accessibility/