Abstract 25 Words:
Title: Designing Arts driven web sites to provide access and equity for the disabled.
Name of Author: Steve Feld
Phone 718 562 5500
FAX 718 562 5132
Given our visual and musical accessibility, readable text formats, digital/musical postcards, and rich disability cultural links, the Leonardo web site models disability culture sensitive design.Presenter's Biosketch:
Steve Feld is a veteran Fine Arts instructor infusing computer graphics into the curriculm for over twenty five years. He has received numerous awards among which are: an Impact II Developer Grant, Computer Learning Foundation Grand Prize Winner and the NY State Learning Technologies Championship for his student created project Da Vinci's Visions.
He has helped the International ThinkQuest team create the award winning web site Learning About Leonardo( /13681 ). His projects have also been funded through his own efforts by the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Bronx Superintendency. He is author of Computers in the Art Classroom published by the Board of Education.
As the international high school team comprised of students partners from John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx and Borlange Sweden, designed the Learning About Leonardo web site under the guidance of computer graphics instructor Steve Feld, one of the key educational concerns was provision of access and equity for the disabled to artistic issues. Indeed, mirroring representation within our own 5000+ student and staff community of hearing impaired and visually impaired learners, we have deliberately incorporated features and accessibility for those sectors of our site visitors into site design.
Specifically, a key element of site development was accessibity for all browsers. In particular, it allows a visitor using any browser to take an interactive quiz. The coding of the page allows usage of Lynx, a likely browser for a blind person, affording the visually impaired visitor with a text only navigation tool, that actually works. During the development of the site, the high school international student team and head coach Steve Feld concentrated on disability participant accessibility to artistic research through all browsers, including speech to text peripherals. Disability culture needs were also reflected in design of the text for the site in that it was large and neatly formatted for easy readability.
But accessibility and aesthetic considerations were not the only driving disability culture forces in our site development. One of the major components of the site is Leonardo's original music. This feature of the site provides the visitor with the opportunity to "see" the score of the Leonardo's composition, "hear" it played and be "cued" that the music is playing through a sign language animation and a fingerspelling hand. Obviously this key feature of our site addresses "full participation" by hearing impaired visitors who can view the score and be alerted to the fact that music is playing through the animations. Visually impaired site visitors can savor the tune on this page of an artistic resource that would normally be inaccessible to the visually impaired.
Furthermore, another popular feature of the web site accesses the artistic understandings and the dissemination (sharing) of the web experience for both visually and hearing impaired. The digital postcard option allows the hearing impaired to share their reaction to the site in their choice of seventeen languages. Visually impaired visitors can exercise the same multilingual post card option by literally scoring the postcard with their own musical selections.
As the Leonardo Project has evolved over the last year and a half, it has become a centerpiece for a funded Bronx high school Internet staff development course taught by Steve Feld. The teachers involved in the training designed their own subject content pages with specific links. Among these links are numerous ones, that are of interest to and support the disability culture: Some of the links cited on our site include :
Health and Physical Education--- The Aids Memorial Quilt, Kids Health
Links to the Hard of Hearing Resources--
provided by Richard Roehm editor of the Deaf Watch Newsletter
( /13681/data/deaf.htm )
Special Education--- LD Online, National Parent Network on Disabilities, Internet Resources for Special Children, American Printing House for the Blind, Speech and Language Difficulties, AFASIC-I Can Conference
Given our visual and musical accessibility, readable text formats, digital/musical postcards, and rich disability cultural links, the Leonardo web site models disability culture sensitive design. It is our hope that site features can inspire other site designers to create web sites that promote broader disability participation and engagement.
Arti FaQ 2100
L a u n c h d a t e May 15, 2000
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