Universal Design in Education: Teaching Nontraditional Students

By Frank G. Bowe | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Principles Five and Six

PRINCIPLE FIVE: TOLERANCE FOR ERROR

Definition: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

Just as a double-cut key may be inserted right-side-up or upside-down, and thus tolerates error (unlike regular keys which must be inserted right-side-up), so, too, does a word-processing program that takes advantage of the "Undo" command in Windows operating systems.


Guideline 5a: Arrange elements to minimize hazards and errors: most used elements, most accessible; hazardous elements eliminated, isolated, or shielded.

Students with arthritis, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, and other conditions limiting fine-motor control often will benefit considerably from the use of a "keyguard." This is a plastic sheet that fits over a keyboard. The sheet itself offers a resting place for hands and wrists, such that hands do not unintentionally strike keys. Above each key is a hole in the plastic sheet; users insert a finger into that hole to activate the key. This ensures that only the "correct" key is pressed. Keyguards are simple, one-piece products, yet, because relatively few are sold each year, are priced at high levels; your students should expect to pay $100 or even more for a keyguard.

ZoomCaps and other key letters/numbers having larger, more readable characters are readily available from such sources as Maxi Aids (1-800-522- 6294) and Flaghouse (1-800-793-7900). They reduce error because people can more easily identify what each key does.

-85-

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Universal Design in Education: Teaching Nontraditional Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction and Executive Summary 1
  • Chapter 1 - Diverse Students 7
  • Chapter 2 - Seven Principles of Universal Design 23
  • Chapter 3 - Universally Designed Education 45
  • Chapter 4 - Principles One and Two 63
  • Chapter 5 - Principles Three and Four 73
  • Chapter 6 - Principles Five and Six 85
  • Chapter 7 - Principle Seven 91
  • Chapter 8 - Web Site Accessibility 99
  • Chapter 9 - Summary 107
  • Appendix A - Instructional Media 111
  • Appendix B - Resources 119
  • References 125
  • Index 131
  • About the Author 134
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