FOSSweb: Digital Accessibility Options for all Students

David Lippman, FOSS Program Manager at Lawrence Hall of Science
July 30, 2019 | Uncategorized

FOSS and Delta Education/School Specialty are committed to providing students and teachers with content that is accessible for all. FOSSweb has a variety of components that help address accessibility standards. Our online resources also help support the FOSS Program's commitment to the Universal Design for Learning framework as defined by researchers and educators at the Center for Applied Science Technology (CAST). Resources on FOSSweb provide additional ways to reach students, giving learners multiple ways to acquire knowledge and a variety of ways to engage, be challenged, and find interest.

This month, we’re going into detail regarding what digital accessibility options there are on FOSSweb for students with special needs. These options include the following.

Screenshot of interactive ebook

FOSS Science Resources interactive eBooks include audio syncing; each word is highlighted as the text is read aloud.

FOSS Science Resources Student Book

  • FOSS Science Resources Audio Books: Audio files match the text of the print FOSS Science Resources books.
  • FOSS Science Resources interactive eBooks: These interactive eBooks include audio syncing (text is highlighted as it is read aloud) and the ability to zoom in or out on text and images. FOSS eBooks also have videos embedded to enhance content.
  • FOSS Science Resources PDF-based eBooks: These PDF-based eBooks include the ability to zoom in or out on text and images.
  • NIMAS files for all printed FOSS materials: FOSS Science Resources student books are available on the NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center). NIMAS source files can be used to create accessible specialized formats (i.e., Braille, audio, digital, large-print, etc.) of print instructional materials. The full set of files includes XML content files, a package file, images, and a PDF file of the title page (or whichever page contains ISBN and copyright information).

Streaming Videos & Projection

  • Closed-captioning for content videos: Most of our videos include closed-captioning, burned-in captions, and/or transcripts (this includes the Teacher Prep Videos for teachers).
  • Video speed control: Our video player will soon include the option to slow down playback speed to 50% and 75% of the original speed. This feature will be available in September 2019.
  • Projection: Many teacher/student resources such as the Interactive Whiteboard (IWBs) slides/teaching slides, notebook sheets, and online activities can be projected to the class with the ability to zoom in or out on text and images.
Screenshot of captioned video

Most content videos on FOSSweb include closed captioning.

FOSSmap Assessment System

  • Audio for FOSSmap online assessment items: Students taking the FOSSmap assessments can use the audio feature to have items read aloud in English or Spanish. While it does not appear as a default, teachers are able to easily add the audio feature. See the FOSSmap FAQ section on FOSSweb for more information.
  • Line reader for FOSSmap items: A line reader makes it easier for students to follow along.
  • Zoom-in/out: Students can zoom in and out on each item.
  • Contrast controls: Students can easily adjust the contrast as needed.
Screenshot of interactive ebook

FOSSmap includes default zoom, contrast, and line reader controls. Teachers can easily add audio controls as well. (Items shown here in Spanish.)

These online components highlight just a few of the ways that the FOSS Program continues our decades long commitment to supporting all students. If you have any questions, or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.