I’m not sure exactly how many specific questions I had while doing this assignment. Lots of big-picture, thought-provoking topics to consider and things to think about, but a lack of specific questions that any one person could really answer. So here are some of the thought-questions that are on my mind:
1. Should there be some kind of mandatory training for addressing ADA needs in certain fields or for everyone? Should it be something taught in schools?
I just come into both the library information science world and now the education world without much prior knowledge (and certainly without much prior experience) about ADA and being accessible. This is obviously pretty problematic. I definitely feel I should’ve been required to take a class specific to it in library school (there was no requirement for my cultural heritage information track, but maybe it’s required for library school media or something else?), but should only specific programs be learning about this? How can we teach our children about ADA and disabilities and particularly, designing and teaching for those with disabilities? Oh look, I’ve explained my question with more questions. Sigh. Okay, so maybe I’ve decided that there should be some kind of training or education required both in schools and particular jobs; how would that go about? Or do people work or teach in places that have such programs or trainings? I’d be quite curious to know!
2. On that same thought, should websites be required to be accessible/ADA-compliant? Or should companies that make website design and such be required to provide the tools necessary to make sites compliant? Could you ever see this be something mandated by legislation? Pros? Cons?
This is really interesting for me to think about too. I’d kind of say no, nothing should be absolutely required, because that’s a very slippery slope (then why shouldn’t everything be translated into Spanish, or written in kid-friendly language, or so on and so forth), but on the other side of it, we’re cutting off so much of what makes up our society and culture to those who have certain disabilities and I bet a large portion of us are doing it rather unknowingly. I feel like society is pretty ignorant about things like ADA compliance, which is unfortunate, but going back to #1, if we’re not taught it…
3. I'm still really interested in how other countries go about many of the issues that we've talked about in this class and I'm really curious how other countries handle disabilities and regulations like ADA when it comes to education and technology. From the readings, it sounds like the US is doing pretty well in terms of the regulations, but how are other countries doing with adopting assistive or adaptive technologies? How about particularly in education?
I don’t have much to comment on for this, simply because I don’t know anything about it. I know I could do research… but if you’re going to be asking experts, that’d just be faster! Also, Dan, any commentary you can provide on this? Has anyone had any experience overseas with this? Or how about with international students??
Looking forward to hearing peoples’ opinions and experiences!