Enhancing Accessibility with AI

EKU Online > Enhancing Accessibility with AI

Eight months after first appearing in November of 2022, ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools show no sign of slowing down. Quite the opposite, armies of professionals in their respective disciplines are finding ways to use this exciting new technology. Instructional design is no different, and many new methods to utilize AI have emerged over the past few months. Today we will focus on AI-assisted accessibility and ways to enhance the accessibility of learning materials and facilitate inclusive learning environments.

Captioning Resources for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Learners

For example, instructional designers can use various AI tools to automatically generate video captions to ensure compliance with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Easy-to-use text-to-speech and speech-to-text tools are becoming more widespread as well. AI-powered text-to-speech technologies can convert written content into audio, facilitating access for visually impaired learners or those with reading difficulties. Conversely, speech-to-text technologies can transcribe spoken content, benefiting deaf and hard-of-hearing learners or those with difficulties in notetaking. These tools already exist, and they will become more ubiquitous with AI.

Another foray where we see progress is real-time captioning and translations. For example, AI-enabled tools can generate real-time captions during video presentations or live classes, enhancing accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing learners. Some AI tools can also provide real-time translations, breaking language barriers and making content accessible to learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Auditing Resources for IDs

And finally, instructional designers can use AI to perform accessibility audits on their content and platforms, identifying potential barriers and suggesting improvements to enhance accessibility.

In summary, AI provides instructional designers with the tools and insights to create genuinely inclusive learning experiences tailored to each learner’s unique needs, enhancing accessibility, and paving the way for equitable education.

We discuss how to incorporate AI when designing learning solutions and how they relate to the discipline in almost every class in the MS of Instructional Design and Learning Technology program here at EKU. Come and learn with us.

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