Dieter Brehm

Accessible Design

As part of my recent work in the Mellon Foundation X Olin College Sketch Model fellowship (opens new window), I've been working with the School for Poetic (opens new window) Computation on auditing, improving, and learning experientially how to teach courses remotely.

In the process, Taeyoon Choi (opens new window), a co-founder of SFPC, and I determined a design goal to make SFPC's courses and online materials accessible to more students and teachers. The first step we concluded was to make interpreters available during zoom calls on request, and to revamp portions of the SFPC website to meet accessibility standards.

screenshot of emacs text editor with sfpc site content and view of website in firefox on left Manual A11y evaluation of the entire SFPC site and archives against WCAG 2.1

The original authors of the open source website used Jekyll, which has it's own challenges associated with it. I adapted it for modern accessibility requirements and in the progress improved other elements of the site ranging from color usage, layout, and page writing workflow.

This process involved setting standards and ensuring that it would be seamless for new texts, logs, and bios added to the site would be accessible.

people gathered around in a circle eating and discussing in an eclectic barn space in the Catskills. Photograph of a prior run of "teaching as art", source: https://sfpc.io/teachingasart-spring2020/ (opens new window)

I was able to audit several courses, including Teaching as Art, a course about treating teaching as an artistic and caring act between students and teachers. Participants in the course practiced unlearning prior conceptions about teaching and developed their own pedagogy.

sfpc style guidelines webpage Site additions included creating a style guide for online contributions

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