What is Choosing Accessible Learning Materials (C.A.L.M)?

Choosing Accessible Learning Materials (Keep C.A.L.M.) is an initiative at JMU to achieve the goals of Universal Design (UD) for students, staff, faculty and all other stakeholders. We extend gratitude to Virginia Tech’s department of Accessible Technologies for granting us permission to draw inspiration and mirror their institution’s Keep CALM program.

The Keep C.A.L.M. website hosts a growing collection of guidance regarding key components of accessible course content:

Universal Design is a set of principles that arose out of architecture and building codes to increase accessibility for people with disabilities. Over time, the principles have been adapted to include learning environments. When implemented, materials based on Universal Design principals should be composed and designed so that they can be accessed, understood, and used i) to the greatest possible extent ii) in the most independent and natural manner possible iii) in the widest possible range of situations iv) without the need for adaptation, modification, assistive devices or specialized solutions, by an persons of any age or size or having an particular physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual ability or disability; means in relation to electronic systems, an electronics based process of creating products, services, or systems so that they may be used by any person.

Universal Design is an approach to the designing or creation of materials with consideration of the varied abilities of current and future users and applies to the needs of everyone, regardless of age, size, ability or disability. Additionally, by implementing Universal Design and Choosing Accessible Learning Materials from the start, we may reduce the need to retroactively apply accommodations for people with disabilities.

Why Keep C.A.L.M.?

JMU Policy 1211 specifies that an objective for JMU is for everyone within the university community, regardless of physical or technological readiness, to have the opportunity for appropriate access to information technology. By adhering to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, along with conformance of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) we can accomplish this university objective by promoting equal access opportunities to information technology by the application of accessibility standards, guidelines, training, tools and methods consistent with higher education (Keep(ing) C.A.L.M.). As we continue to evolve and change with technology, accessibility requests and legal aspects, we invite you to participate in our current and future Keep C.A.L.M. campaigns.

How can I participate in the Keep C.A.L.M. campaign?

The best way to get involved is to try incorporating Keep C.A.L.M. concepts. Try the "Plus One" approach of utilizing one new Universal Design technique when you teach a new class or start a new project.

You can also follow ODS on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter for updates as the Keep C.A.L.M. campaign grows.

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