Borgemenke, A. J., Holt, W. C., & Fish, W. W. (2013). Universal Course Shell Template Design and Implementation to Enhance Student Outcomes in Online. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 14(1), 17-23.

Borgemenke, Holt, and Fish discuss the outcome of implementing a universal course shell template throughout a graduate studies program by evaluating the faculty’s perceptive and student outcomes. The researchers believe the criterion was hard to gauge but enrollment rates are up and the professional certification has greatly increased after the implementation of the universal shell. By using a standardized course shell, universal design was implemented during this process since there was a standardized syllabus, evaluation criteria, and overall appearance.

Cain, H. M., & Merrill, Z. (2001). Distance Education for Master’s Students with Visual Impairments: Technology and Support. Journal Of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 95(9), 572.

Cain and Merrill studied a group of seven graduate students with visual impairments and learned that teleconferencing was the main method that made students feel more included. The research shows the students felt the faculty was more accessible during the course, which made them more comfortable. This article shows the importance of interaction with students and providing alternative methods of communication for students that have visual impairments.

Farel, A. M., & Paliulis, S. C. (2004). Improving the Accessibility of an Analytic and Technical Skills MCH Toolbox. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 8(1), 31-33.

The researchers used Jaws and Lift to analyze content to identify and current problems with tables, images, multimedia content, pdf files and links to increase accessibility. Farel and Paliulis did this in response to legislative mandates and to make accessible web design that are easier to download, navigate, and read. Lessons learned from this study shows that in order to increase accessibility, including for the use of assistive technology, everyone in the creation and maintenance process should have standards to follow. Not only should the developers be involved in ensuring accessibility but also individuals with disabilities along with testing software should be used.

Klemes, J., Epstein, A., Zuker, M., Grinberg, N., & Ilovitch, T. (2006). An Assistive Computerized Learning Environment for Distance Learning Students with Learning Disabilities. Open Learning, 21(1), 19-32. doi:10.1080/02680510500468062

Klemes, Epstein, Zuker, Grinberg, and Illovitch studied how assistive technology can help in an online environment with students that have learning disabilities. They concluded that since the main learning method in distance learning is text based that students with visual disabilities or trouble processing large amounts of text were at a disadvantage. Speech synthesizers were recommended and well design courses that properly emphasized important text. Overall, the study shows the number of individuals with learning disabilities is increasing but as assistive technology increase and good design methods are implemented distance education becomes more accessible.