Today, in every aspect of the post-secondary experience, institutions are employing technology. Although innovation and equal access can go hand in hand, designing technology accessibly has not been commonplace. Consequently, higher education has struggled with how to address issues of access for students with disabilities while making use of the best of technology to provide effective and innovative instruction as well as access to an institution’s programs and services.
OCR has made it clear that using technology, especially emerging technology in a classroom environment when the technology is inaccessible to an entire population of individuals with disabilities is discriminatory.
More recently, the Resolution Agreement with UC-Berkley, the compliance review of the South Carolina Technical College System and the settlement agreement with Louisiana Tech University, have each highlighted the obligation to ensure access. The message is inescapable — accessibility must be considered when selecting, implementing and using technology in the classroom and elsewhere in the institution.
Change is hard. Sometimes motivating people to try is harder still. Jared Smith at WebAIM has given the matter some though and blogged about it at WebAIM’s Hierarchy for Motivating Accessibility Change