The introduction of open digital badges (Open Badges) as a means of demonstrating competence is an established practice especially in universities of applied sciences. With the help of the Open Badges system, prior learning can be identified, recognised, and made visible. Open Badges were originally developed in the United States to verify the competences acquired in massive open online courses (MOOCs). You can add the granted Open Badge to your curriculum vitae or social media websites.
There is currently a great need for accessibility experts and the demonstration of competence. We created the accessibility badges because of the need to demonstrate competence that is not visible as a skill in the degree certificate. For example, such competence may have been acquired in independent studies or in short training events. The person applying for the badge can now demonstrate their accessibility competence by applying for the Open Badges related to accessibility.
There are three Open Badges related to accessibility. They can be used to demonstrate competence related to producing accessible videos, producing accessible documents and building accessible digital workspaces. When two accessibility badges have been granted, the applicant will automatically get the Accessibility Expert Milestone Badge. Descriptions for accessibility badges (PDF).
How can your organisation introduce the accessibility badges?
The Open Badge system is linked to the Open Badge Factories. If your organisation already uses the Open Badge Factory, the accessibility badges can be copied directly to the organisation and it can start using them. Otherwise the organisation can implement the badges by completing the form on the website of the DigiCampus project. The form is used to notify the details of the organisation’s contact person for the Open Badge Factory. The introduction of the badges will then be discussed further with the contact person. When the practical matters have been agreed on, the organisation can start to grant the accessibility badges.
How do you apply for the accessibility badges?
When the accessibility badges have been introduced in the organisation’s Open Badge Factory, applying for them is easy. The badges are applied for by completing and sending the Open Badge application. Competence is demonstrated by presenting evidence of skills and knowledge related to, for example, the accessibility of documents. The evidence may be links, screen captures or justifications and experiences of what has been learnt. The person granting the badge checks the Open Badge application. When the badge has been granted to you, you can download it for your own use.
Leena Koskimäki, email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplementary material related to Open Badges
More information on the Open Badge Factory: https://openbadgefactory.com
In her work at Häme University of Applied Sciences, Merja Saarela, a research lecturer, focuses on researching and developing multimodality and assistive technology and accessibility. Merja is involved in DigiCampus’s Accessibility subproject. Link: more information about Merja.
Educational technology specialist Leena Koskimäki works with the Learning Design team at Häme University of Applied Sciences and contributes to the accessibility of teaching services. Leena is involved in DigiCampus’s Accessibility and Accessibility subproject. Link: more information about Leena.