Accessibility tip of the day: ADA Compliant Astronomy Lab

As we conclude Accessibility Action Week, today’s post is about another innovation in accessibility happening on our campus.

Jim Hughes, Shoreline Astronomy faculty, is collaborating with Astronomy faculty from Arizona State University and Spokane Colleges to create an accessible astronomy lab here at Shoreline.

ASU has developed ADA compliant descriptions for the images in Starry Night lab software so that students with low/no vision can hear (via assistive technology) what is being shown in the image. This is no easy task!

Here is an example:

“The figure shows the Sun on the right and Earth on the left. The orbit of the Moon is shown as a dotted circular path, and one location for the Moon is labeled. The illustration shows that one-half of the Moon’s surface is illuminated by sunlight. A person is placed on Earth such that it is noon (the Sun is directly overhead). Earth’s rotation is indicated by a curving counterclockwise arrow.” See example below:
If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact Jim Hughes at

Thanks for your enthusiasm and support this week! Our last and most exciting Accessibility Action Event is happening today!! Don’t miss it!

“Digital Accessibility in Higher Ed: Risk Assessment, Responsibility and Benefits”
with special guest Dr. Janet Sedgley, University of Montana
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., PUB Quiet Dining Room
Presentation Description:  It feels like a new buzz phrase – digital accessibility.  Those steeped in it, throw the term around daily.  Most others don’t find the term very accessible (aka approachable).  More individuals are starting to understand a little about how to create accessible Word documents and that web images require alt tags.  We have added more steps to our work processes. Why?

Let’s take a step back and get a general view of what’s happening with higher education and digital accessibility.  Is it truly an issue that needs our attention, how involved are each of us and what is higher education’s return on investment as far as digital accessibility.

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