World Usability Day New England

World Usability Day New England at UConn was awesome!

I started off the morning learning about “Accessibility and WordPress” from John Brandt (Maine CITE). I have some work to do on this site!

I was excited to present our project to bring 3D printed molecules to my class room. This all started as a conversation between Kelsey Hall, Josh Pearson, and me. I had just created the first draft of myDNA, an online course. Kelsey and Josh reviewed the course and noted that some of my material was inaccessible for blind or low vision students. Finding a way to bring the highly visual world of molecular biology to students is a big challenge. We started a collaboration using 3D printing and the expertise of Dennis Spencer in the Digital Media lab of the W.E.B. Dubois Library to print DNA molecules that everyone can touch and interact with. While the idea was to give access to students, who are low-vision or blind, I was immediately struck by what great universal design this is! Touching molecules is so helpful, it really is a different experience to touch these things that are usually so far outside of our grasp.

I finished the day learning about “Web Accessibility: Inclusive Practices to Enhance the User Experience” from Samm Delorey (UMass Amherst). It was great to have another UMass person get me thinking about how to enhance the user experience for everyone.



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