The Importance of Accessible Technology in Higher Education

March 14, 2022 Watermark Insights

Consider the statistics....

"11% of undergraduate students in the US have a disability. 70% of all major universities in the US were found to have poor web accessibility." National Center for Education Statistics

"16.4% of students with disabilities have completed a bachelors degree VS. 34.6% of students without a disability who finish a bachelors degree" U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

These statistics are significant and show the lack of support institutions have historically given to students with disabilities. With the growth of the digital campus course programs and loads of online material that is inaccessible to students with disabilities, institutions are significantly reducing the ability of these students to confer and compete with peers. This impacts the entirety of the institutional culture by way of how you work with, and are a conduit for, the success of students that need it most.

Accessibility At the Forefront

  • The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Justice (DOJ) has adopted WCAG 2.1 as the standard that the federal government and its agencies (higher education) need to comply with.
  • Studies show that creating social mobility mechanisms (in this case, accessible software) for disabled peers and students matures institutions culturally. Full system access for everyone is no longer an option, it's an expectation.
  • Equal accessibility for ALL students impacts how the institution is perceived, accredited, and, represents a standard all institutions should hold each other highly accountable to.

What To Consider

  • Many colleges and universities have introduced undue legal problems for themselves by procuring software that is not 508 Compliant. For a list of Higher Education Accessibility lawsuits, complaints, and settlements, click here.
  • When we think about high levels of ADA compliance, schools must strive beyond meeting the bare minimum to receive government funding but embrace the requirements that makeup WCAG 2.1. By complying with Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 requirements, institutions can attract and retain students with disabilities.
  • Great institutions provide accessibility for ALL their students because each student presents opportunity.

How Student Success & Engagement Can Help

From our Development Team to our front-line analysts, Student Success & Engagement stays on the leading edge of accessibility compliance innovation, attributed to our deep understanding of the technological needs of higher education.

Student Success & Engagement supports your mission of student and peer success for everyone you serve.

Student Success & Engagement is a steward of ADA / WCAG2.1 compliance and represents the only major Student Success Software Platform that measures 100% compliance in all student-facing functionality.

About the Author

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut euismod velit sed dolor ornare maximus. Nam eu magna eros.

More Content by Watermark Insights
Previous Article
Integrating Artificial and Human Intelligence for Student Success
Integrating Artificial and Human Intelligence for Student Success

The power of AI has opened higher education’s ability to really reach students. And now, there is a powerfu...

Next Article
3 Tips to Improve Your Online Teaching
3 Tips to Improve Your Online Teaching

Post-pandemic, it’s evident that online learning has a solid footing in higher ed. Here are 3 tips to impro...