"For people without disabilities, technology
makes things convenient,
The Barrierfree Learning Environment
Supports educators in creating and repurposing learning content that is accessible to all learners.
Provides learners with on-line curriculum that adapts to their learning and access needs.
The Barrierfree toolset takes a story captured in linear video and links a wealth of information, enhancements and perspectives using a synchronized text track derived from the caption and audio description of the video. This provides the viewer with a cohesive interactive experience that is also accessible to people with hearing, visual and physical disabilities. Thus the material becomes more than a collection of multimedia artifacts but integral parts of a rich and multi-dimensional story.
The Barrierfree Tools have been designed and developed with continuous input from learners and educators. The tools have been tested on Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows and include:
Exemplary content that demonstrates the potential of the learning environment has also been developed.
The Barrierfree Tools and environment is currently being deployed within "ABEL", the Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning project led by York University. As part of this endeavour, the Barrierfree user interface has been altered to improve usability within the ABEL environment, based on user feedback and testing. Support for an external streaming media server has been added to the repository software. A tutorial demonstrating how to use the Barrier-Free Editor is complete, and will be made available to the ABEL teachers along with the software.
Another innovative project is The Inclusive Learning Exchange (TILE) which is taking learning object respository technology to the next level by creating a repository service that responds to the individual needs of the learner. TILE is broadening the Barrierfree mission of advancing Internet e-learning functionality for all learners including those with disabilities.