As colleges and universities move to the cloud, so do accessibility concerns. Here’s what you should know.
It’s a media headache that happens once a year to a college or university that hasn’t taken the right steps, say experts. The good news is it’s preventable.
Becoming accessibility-compliant may not seem like a top priority, but with the ubiquity of technology—especially cloud technology—accessibility is an issue no institution can afford to ignore, emphasized panelists during the recent Internet2 Global Summit 2015.
“Just look at cases such as the University of Montana or Louisiana Tech: Online instructional materials and web content need to be accessible,” said Jarret Cummings, director of Policy and External Relations at EDUCAUSE. “Even EDUCAUSE isn’t exempt! When we conducted our eText pilot, we ran into issues with accessibility that the NFB [National Federation of the Blind] thankfully pointed out to us.”
EDUCAUSE has since begun working on the TEACH Act in expectation of the HEA reauthorization, and Cummings noted that accessibility in higher ed is a “significant, ongoing issue, especially as services move to the cloud. Prevention and proactive approaches are critical.”
(Next page: 3 ways to get started on accessibility compliance)