D2L is happy to announce a partnership with Internet2, a national research and education network with a community of more than 250 universities and colleges across the US. Our organization already has strong participation from and connections with the Internet2 community and we hope to build on this success through our selection to provide services and collaborative opportunities to members through the Internet2 NET+ initiative.
This initiative offers a portfolio of cloud-based solutions, including both commercial services and community offerings, to members via the Internet2 network. It’s a unique opportunity to provide value to the research and educational community, and we’re thrilled to be able to now offer products from our Integrated Learning Platform as part of it.
Through this partnership, I’m particularly excited about the chance D2L has to provide advanced accessibility capabilities. We believe no student should be left behind, and in working with our clients, share the goal of helping to make learning more inclusive. To us, accessibility isn’t a box to check or a bolt-on. It has to be built-in, and we’ve made that approach an organization-wide mandate.
How do we do this? There are several key ingredients to delivering next-gen accessible delivery options.
- We collaborate with our clients. They guide our development efforts by actively contributing and helping us identify accessibility issues and prioritize and plan projects. They also help organize accessibility testing and review our final designs. Their perspectives provide invaluable insights into the real needs of our users and the objectives of the wider educational community.
- We regularly test our products and seek input from individuals with disabilities. These sessions help us understand the problems they encounter and lead to design solutions that would not have been found through accessibility checkers alone.
- We partner with the community. Interest groups such as the National Federation of the Blind are ambassadors for change and offer opportunities for organizations to take advantage of their deep, collective knowledge. We’re extremely appreciative of the opportunities we have to work with these community interest groups.
- Accessibility is part of our culture and day-to-day processes. Over the past several years, we’ve built internal expertise to ensure accessibility is a shared responsibility across all teams and not just a few individuals. Significant effort is spent on R&D initiatives, including following global standards such as those developed by the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative.
As I’ve written previously, we’ve been on a path to personalization since we started D2L. Accessible delivery options are a critical aspect of our pervasive, on-demand learning solutions. We are committed to ensuring that we are and remain the industry leader in this very important field.