Champions of accessibility awareness have made strides in highlighting that all students, not just those with disabilities, benefit from multiple, flexible options for learning materials. A recent uptick in high-profile lawsuits alleging failure to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act has motivated many institutions to think carefully about how they work with students.
But many colleges and universities still lack coherent policies around accessibility, and those that have them sometimes struggle to enforce or define them across the entire university.
A new set of quality indicators for accessible educational materials aims to help institutions ensure at scale that all students have the same learning opportunities in face-to-face classrooms and digital learning environments. The guide took 16 months to complete, and time will tell whether institutions will widely adopt it, underscoring the challenge of gathering consensus on an issue that’s only recent risen on institutions’ priority lists.