Recently, global learning technology company D2L published its WCAG 2.2 conformance report on the same day as the release of the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2. D2L focuses on enabling functional accessibility of its products and services to users with disabilities and recognizes conformance with technical standards as the first step to achieving that.
In December 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 1.3 billion people – 1-in-6 – have a disability. And, recently, in August 2023, the US Department of Justice published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) with proposed updates to the regulations for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to add more specific requirements about web and mobile app accessibility that could impact digital learning environments.
D2L offers three critical pillars to support customers in providing inclusive education:
- Technology: D2L products align with global accessibility standards to facilitate interoperability with assistive technologies such as such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, speech input and switch access tools, and text readers to provide an equitable user experience for all.
- Content: D2L embeds accessible content authoring and auditing tools throughout its platform to help users create and maintain highly accessible content. For instance, since January 2022, all videos uploaded onto D2L Brightspace can have AI-generated, editable closed captions in multiple languages – making learning more accessible.
- Pedagogy: D2L provides support for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to help enhance pedagogical processes to reach diverse learners. Its Brightspace Community also offers learning resources through its Accessibility Academy.
“For us, accessibility is a journey and not a destination. Our product teams created an innovative drag-and-drop feature that is accessible with both keyboard and mouse even before it became a requirement under WCAG 2.2,” said Dr. Sambhavi Chandrashekar, Global Accessibility Lead at D2L. “We continue our future-facing approach into the development of the next level WCAG 3.0 Silver standards in our capacity as a member of the W3C Silver Community Group.”
Building Accessibility Momentum
D2L has continued to offer highly accessible products, features and tools to help learners achieve more than they dreamed possible:
- D2L’s Creator+ suite of content creation tools offers accessible hotspots to help extend interactive learning possibilities to learners with vision loss.
- D2L continued its accessibility support to blind and low vision learners by renewing its partnership with Aira until June 2024. Users of D2L Brightspace learning innovation platform can access Aira services – available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – to help them complete visual tasks while using the platform.
- In June 2023, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF), a national charity dedicated to the removal of barriers for people with disabilities, selected D2L Brightspace as its learning innovation platform to provide professional development for K-12 educators to become accessibility and inclusion leaders in their schools.
D2L is the only educational technology company to be included in the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)’s Strategic Nonvisual Access Partnership program since 2016. Learn more about D2L’s commitment to accessibility.
D2L is transforming the way the world learns—helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our growing global workforce is dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than they found it. Learn more about D2L for K-12, higher education and businesses at www.D2L.com.
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