Hear from D2L about the importance of making learning accessible, and how we are incorporating Universal Design for Learning as we build technology for the future.

Categories: Accessibility, Student Engagement, Student Success, Teaching and Training, Technology
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Accessibility is at the core of what D2L is as a company. When we set out to build this organization, we looked at what barriers existed to achieving your dreams when it comes to an educational outcome, and we looked to break down those barriers.
Accessibility can make the difference between somebody with a disability getting an education and getting a really good job or not, and education is important to everybody but it’s really important to people with disabilities because everybody with a disability needs to almost prove they can do whatever job they’re going for, and needs to say “hey, I have this education behind me, I have these skills” gives you a chance that you might not get if you didn’t have them.
Accessible content isn’t just about making something that works for a narrow group of learners, but it’s about considering the larger group of people in a course and making it work for them. Because really everyone’s unique. You can get really focused in on making it work for that user that’s low-vision or blind, but really you have to recognize the class has so many people in it that are all different in some ways, so how can you make content that really anticipates that there’s a diversity of learners in the classroom?
We offer a number of services where we can consult with clients to help them learn how to really amp up their accessibility programs. We work with clients to assess their content to determine where there might be accessibility barriers. We work with clients to help them better understand what their requirements are as well. So there’s a bunch of different opportunities that we to work closely with clients to help them really take their accessibility services to the next level.
I think the key with accessible content is that you’re not just designing it so that it can be read by a screen reader, it’s making sure you support universal design for learning, so that you’re able to create different adaptive pathways, give people different activities, different experiences, and yet achieve the same outcomes. That to me is the most critical part of building technology for the future.