December 5, 2018

Education Needs To Be Accessible

Jen Goulden | Project and Quality Manager
Document Accessibility Webinars

It’s been 20 years since I completed my Master’s degree. Without a doubt, accessibility in the education sector has changed drastically since my student days. Accessible PDF, Accessible HTML and refreshable braille are just some of the technological advances that have revolutionized the way people access information if they are unable to use conventional print. Legal requirements have also changed the landscape for students of all ages. Whatever your role in the education sector, you’re probably aware that document accessibility is a right, not a privilege.

So what does that mean for you?

If you’re a student (or the parent of a student) it means that you (or your child) have the right to textbooks, tests and other course materials in an accessible format. If you work for an educational institution it means that you need to make document accessibility a reality for your students who require it.

Accessible PDF is an excellent option both to meet compliance and to provide students with the documents they need. Screen reader users can navigate these files using a variety of keyboard commands, either on a PC or a mobile device. Students can also read Accessible PDFs by connecting a refreshable braille display to their PC or smartphone.

Having said that, document accessibility is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. A student’s learning style and course of study will affect which accessible format best meets their needs. For example, many blind or partially-sighted individuals are not auditory learners, and subjects like complex math are difficult to render accurately unless they are produced in large print or braille.

Although much has changed since I was a student there is one important aspect that remains the same: document accessibility levels the playing field for students with print-related disabilities. It’s not only the law —  it’s essential to the success of any student.

To learn more about document accessibility in education, join us December 13th at 11am ET, for an educational webinar.