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ATLS 3519 Special Topics in Technology, Arts, and Media: Universal Design for Digital Media

About the Course

This course will examine the standards and methods for designing digital material, which is not only accessible for persons with disabilities but also effective and usable for all users and all platforms. This course will review standards for usability and accessibility, focusing on the concepts of universal design, web standards, and accessibility best practices. Resources and texts from media design experts such as Donald A. Norman, Wendy Chisholm, and Jeffrey Zeldman will be complemented with guest lectures from experts in the field and demonstrations by persons with disabilities using the Web, most taped, some live, when possible. Topics to be covered include (x)html standards, structured coding procedures, semantic web design, user-centered design, validation tools, among others.


Students will learn the concepts of universal design and web standards in order to address the issues that occur at the nexus of mobile web access and the needs of persons with disabilities. At the conclusion of this course students will have the expertise to create media and websites which are accessible, universal – future browser and cross-platform compatible – and more efficient, effective, and search-engine friendly.

Grade Breakdown

  • Assignments & Quizzes = 60%
  • Final Project = 33%
  • Class Participation = 7%

Required Text

  • Chisholm, Wendy; May, Matt. Universal Design for Web Applications. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, c2009. (isbn: 0-596-51873-0).
  • Zeldman, Jeffrey. Designing with Web Standards (3rd Edition). Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2010. (isbn: 0-321-61695-2).
  • Anderson, Erin. Interact with Web Standards. Berkeley, Calif.: New Riders, 2010. (0-321-70352-9).

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