Content branded as ‘open access’ or ‘freely available’ may give the impression that OER are universally accessible. However, many users still face barriers to access, whether they be technological or representational. There is a myth that since OER are public, they are automatically accessible.
This myth marginalises the needs of disabled people who struggle to use the internet because of inaccessible design, people with poor internet connectivity, and people who speak and read English as a second language. The reality is open does not always equal access. It does not always equal inclusion.
Enhancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) in Open Educational Resources (OER) was created by Nikki Andersen to provide authors and librarians with practical strategies for producing diverse, inclusive and accessible OER and open textbooks.
This edition, published in Pressbooks, was adapted from OpenStax’s Improving Representation and Diversity in OER Materials framework, and has been expanded to include good practice examples, case studies, and resources to highlight what inclusive practices looks like.
The guide underwent an extensive peer review process by librarians, academics, students and diversity and inclusion experts, all of whom contributed their diverse experiences and perspectives. In line with the disability rights movement motto ‘nothing about us without us,’ eight of the reviewers were of diverse marginalized identities.
Since the IDEA guide’s publication in September 2022, it has recorded 6266 views, 234 PDF downloads, and 2616 referrals from other sources, with a readership in 107 countries and territories. It is being reused by BCCampus, Council of Australian University Librarians, University of Regina, Pennsylvania State University, University at Buffalo and more. The guide has also been reused as part of a national OER Professional Development program run by the Council of Australian University Librarians.
The myth that open automatically equals access does not hold Open Education Librarians and those who oversee OER or open textbook publishing in their institutions accountable for undertaking accessibility and usability testing and ensuring the critical evaluation of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) in their processes.Award Nominator
This is the resource I didn’t realize I needed! An exemplary contribution to both the field of Open Education and IDEA. Well organized, comprehensive, and highly inclusive. I particularly like the editor’s Statement of Positionality, modeling for the reader/user of the text transparency regarding one’s identity and how that may privilege or marginalize one’s self in society.Award Reviewer