10 Tips For Making Digital Materials More Accessible to Students With Disabilities

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Many teachers and schools are falling short of federal requirements for digital accessibility, posing undue challenges for students with a wide range of disabilities, two accessibility experts argued Tuesday during a virtual panel at the annual International Society for Technology in Education conference.

Most K-12 professionals know that federal law requires school buildings to be accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. What they might not know is that those requirements, under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, also apply to digital materials.

And that means everything from homework assignments and Google Drive folders to email messages and learning management system interfaces.

“Accessibility compliance is like speeding—ignorance of the law isn’t going to help you,” said Jenna Ashley, an instructional technology for Old Dominion University’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Following the law is important even for teachers who don’t currently have a student with a documented need for accommodations, Ashley said; some students have disabilities that aren’t documented.

Plus, research shows all students [...]

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