ACCESSIBLE TRAINING KIT
Digital tools and tips for Youth Workers active in creative and cultural areas
Why should you create more accessible activities?
This Accessible Training Toolkit is intended to be a collection of training resources in the form of best practices, guidelines, tools and tips, and questions and answers on how Trainers and Youth Workers working in the creative and cultural sectors can make their training activities and educational services more accessible to young people while taking into account their social and physical barriers.
In this sense, accessibility and inclusion refer to making learning experiences and educational resources flexible, accessible, and understood to all learners. It is about constantly reimagining the teaching and learning processes so that all learners feel included throughout the entire process.
Accessibility is separated into four major categories, as mentioned in the section “Areas of accessibility” below:
“This Toolkit has been developed with the collaboration of the whole partnership of Trainers4Creativity project.”
How to use this toolkit?
When a Youth Worker, Trainer, or Educator is planning a learning session, the Accessible Training Toolkit comes in handy. If you need new tools, inspiration, approaches, or ideas, look through the resources in this and other project training kits – we also have training kits relating to Digital, Creativity, and Audiovisual activities. Consider how you may mix the many tools and recommendations included in these training kits, as they are closely related. For example, you can have a digital activity, but how do you assure that all of your participants can access it? And how can you make it more creative by incorporating audiovisual techniques to make it more appealing and engaging? Keep in mind that all of these categories complement one another.
Areas of accesibility
Questions & Answers per partner expertise:
The inclusive musical experience can be considered as the set of training approaches that make use of the sound-music channel to promote the scholastic and social inclusion of each person. In recent years, neuroscientific research has shown how sound training supports the balanced growth of the individual, with repercussions on the emotional, cognitive, motor aspects, creativity and self-esteem spheres. In particular, the musical experience contributes to the acquisition of the phonological perception of language and, consequently, to the creation of the prerequisites and to the improvement of reading and writing skills.
Within the inclusive experience, music constitutes a “fundamental and universal component of human experience, which offers a symbolic and relational space conducive to the activation of cooperation and socialization processes, the acquisition of tools of knowledge, the enhancement of creativity and participation, to the development of the sense of belonging to a community, as well as the interaction between different cultures” (Ministerial Decree 139/07- All. 2)
In conclusion, active musical experience represents an extremely effective tool, a universal language capable of promoting inclusion, communication and the maturation of social and cultural skills for everyone, regardless of the conditions of social, economic, cultural, or the presence of specific disabilities.
Symphonic Taxi Orchestra (Aosta Valley, Italy)
The Symphonic Taxi Orchestra is an inclusive orchestra, made up of people with disabilities, teachers, students and professionals, which made its debut in the Aosta Valley in 2018, born from an idea by Marco Giovinazzo and Paolo Salomone (https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuxf2wS6rvE&ab_channel=SFOMSchoolFormazioneOrientamentoMusicale)
«The orchestra was born for young people with disabilities», explains Giovinazzo, “it has become to all intents and purposes a project that wants to grow by extending itself to all musicians, from Aosta Valley and not, who want to have an inclusive experience, where music is a pretext to be together and to work on many fronts».
All the members participate in the project as volunteers: “The message we want to get across is that it is an open orchestra, where everyone can ask to play; the staff is truly heterogeneous and sees the students of the laboratory ‘Suono anch’io’ – from the disability department of the School of Musical Training and Orientation of the Valle d’Aosta – teachers of the SFOM and the Istituto Musicale Pareggiato of the Valle d’Aosta , volunteers of APS Tamtando, recent graduates and students of different music schools. The concept is that the amateur orchestra is just as important as the professional orchestra. We have the dream of making musicians understand that being part of this orchestra should not be an alternative to a professional career, but a parallel experience” (Marco Giovinazzo)
The STO has been invited to various schools to bear witness to a virtuous model of inclusion and enhancement of people with disabilities. «Especially when we go outside the Valley, we are also invited to offer a concert to the students to show how music brings benefits to everyone and how it is possible to be on the same stage with different skills. It is not a project that wants to have a low profile: through the musical and emotional sphere, which pushes us to overcome some limits, we have in some respects achieved very important results compared to the initial premises». (Mark Solomon)
“Even the families are happy and enthusiastic about the project, because it is a healthy way for their children to spend their free time and grow up being in the orchestra, learning the rules and making sure they arrive prepared for rehearsals. Even for professional musicians it is a lesson in enthusiasm: many times those who are part of this world experience the orchestra as a job or a way to pay for their studies, instead here there is sharing and we are all together and all the same, leaving the classic orchestral hierarchy. we help each other and we also make ourselves available to distort the scores in rehearsal, if the situation requires it: in the world of music this is fundamental, for a more open and freer approach to music, even towards different genres». (Marco Giovinazzo)
Leave a Trail of Breadcrumbs
For people with short attention spans, it’s easy to get confused when following a long series of navigation steps to a web page. For that reason, “WCAG Success Criterion 2.4.8: Location” recommends making information about a user’s location within a set of web pages readily available.
A breadcrumb trail helps the user to visualize how content has been structured and how to navigate back to previous Web pages, and may identify the current location within a series of Web pages. A breadcrumb trail either displays locations in the path the user took to reach the Web page, or it displays the location of the current Web page within the organization of the site.
Breadcrumb trails are implemented using links to the Web pages that have been accessed in the process of navigating to the current Web page. They are placed in the same location within each Web page in the set.
The information architecture of a Web site is categorized from general to increasingly more specific area subsections.
You are here: Trainers4Creativity → Project Results → Training Kit → Digital Training Kit → Music Digitalisation
The trail begins with “You are here” and ends with the current page. Items in the trail are clickable or tappable links with the exception of “You are here” and “Music Digitalisation.” This example uses a right arrow symbol (→) as a separator.
The site map serves several purposes.
* It provides an overview of the entire site.
* It helps users understand what the site contains and how the content is organized.
* It offers an alternative to complex navigation bars that may be different at different parts of the site.
The simplest and most common kind of site map is an outline that shows links to each section or sub-site. Such outline views do not show more complex relationships within the site, such as links between pages in different sections of the site. The site maps for some large sites use headings that expand to show additional detail about each section.
A site map describes the contents and organization of a site. It is important that site maps be updated whenever the site is updated.
Suggest Corrections if Users Get It Wrong
Done right, the search function on a website can help users quickly get to where they want to go. If the information supplied by the user is spelled or formatted incorrectly, real-time corrections can suggest the most likely alternative.
Control With the Keyboard
For people with limited mobility or difficulty with fine motor control, it can be hard — or outright impossible — to navigate a website using a mouse. “WCAG Success Criterion 2.1.1: Keyboard” requires that all content on a page is operable with the use of a keyboard alone (or a keyboard emulator such as speech input software, sip-and-puff software, on-screen keyboards, and more).
Visual Impact and Contrast
Plenty of designers take a less-is-more approach to web design, especially when it comes to color. And while that can result in striking, minimalist designs with subtle color palettes, it’s not all that accessible for people with low vision.
“WCAG Success Criterion 1.4.3: Contrast (Minimum)” recommends a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 between foreground text and background colors.
Small text size can be a big hurdle for low-vision users, who rely on web browsers to scale text to a more comfortable size. For that reason, WCAG recommends that websites (1) avoid using images to display text and (2) ensure that resizing text does not cause it to spill off the screen.
“WCAG SC 1.4.4 Resize text” requires that text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.
For people who cannot perceive images visually, image alternative text (or alt text) is key to understanding all content on a page. Alt text is a written description of an image that screen readers can read out loud or convert to Braille.
If you’re trying to decide when, where, and how to use animation, the first question you ask should always be “Is it necessary?”
We should be aware that scrolling content can be challenging for users with low vision or cognitive disabilities. Similarly, movement can make it difficult for some users to concentrate on other parts of your page.
“WCAG Success Criterion 2.2.2: Pause, Stop, Hide” recommends giving users a way to pause, stop, or hide any content that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented alongside other content.
Choosing the right page title isn’t just important for optimizing your website’s ranking on search engines; it’s also a key enabler of website navigation.
Because the title of your page is the first component a screen reader announces, it’s important to pay close attention to getting the content and formatting right.
Good page titles are particularly important for orientation — to help people know where they are and move between pages open in their browser. The first thing screen readers say when the user goes to a different web page is the page title.
What to do:
* Look at the page’s title (or with a screen reader, listen to it).
* Look at titles of other pages within the website.
What to check for:
* Check that there is a title that adequately and briefly describes the content of the page.
* Check that the title is different from other pages on the website, and adequately distinguishes the page from other web pages.
Table of Contents
If your website has a lot of information, WCAG recommends going beyond basic navigational elements like a Navigation Bar or Site Map.
In these situations, you can cut through the complexity of a page with a table of contents that (1) provides a complete overview of what’s on the page and (2) lets users jump to the section they want.
This approach also helps satisfy WCAG Success Criterion 2.4.5: Multiple Ways, which recommends providing users more than one way to locate a web page within a set of web pages. The intent is to provide multiple ways for users to locate content, so they can choose the way that works best for them.
Wikipedia is a prime example of how a table of contents can streamline the browsing experience.
Accessibility in printable material
Accessibility in online content
Accessibility in audiovisual material
Accessibility in evaluation
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