Universal Accessibility Remains Elusive

As High-Tech Teaching Catches On, Students With Disabilities Can Be Left Behind in Chronicle for Higher Education.

I know this story is hardly news, as the first comment to the story reiterates. But it’s an important reminder to those of us who teach: we need to seek out universally accessible technologies and tools for our classrooms. We need to exert whatever pressure we can on technology creators and distributors to provide universally accessible tools. We need to exert whatever pressure we can on content providers to provide universally accessible content. And we need to remind our students and ourselves that everything — EVERYTHING — we post should be accessible to as many readers and viewers as possible.

Christian P. Vogler, director of the technology-access program at Gallaudet University, an institution for the hearing-impaired in Washington, D.C., said he would not use videos without captions. That policy can be limiting, he said, but it’s important that he lead by example. “When I’m looking for any video, that’s a requirement,” he said through an interpreter. “The first thing I check is to make sure it’s captioned.”

Vogler’s position is not easy, but it’s one I think I can get on board with as a start.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *