Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Creating content that is accessible is key to ensure success for all students. Information is always at our fingertips. We can access anything at the speed of light and give instantaneous responses in email. These are all cultural expectations for many students, parents, and staff. Though we have this technology and the ability to deliver information rapidly, some students are not getting equal access to information because we are not being thoughtful about the format and delivery. As educators, we can be proactive and build content for students with accessibility in mind. Most might believe that accessibility is a non-issue as we often envision physical roadblocks to learning. However, 70% of disabilities are invisible, making it highly likely that you have a student, or parent, right now who will benefit from content that is made more accessible. With a few easy adjustments to current lessons, presentations and handouts, educators can ensure that all students can access quality content, efficiently and independently. Educators can use free tools to design authentic, learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability. Instructional coaches can assist novice and veteran teachers across content areas and grade levels in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using differentiation, including adjusting content, process, product and learning environment based on learning styles, skills, abilities and personal or school-created (IEP) goals. As educators, we must recognize why accessibility is important; offer the best tips for making sure that all documents and materials can be accessible for everyone; identify the varied audiences who benefit from accessible materials; and create accessible yet engaging content easily with tools already available. Let's dive a little bit deeper.