Top 3 reasons why accessibility is critical for EdTech companies to adopt. – Guest column by Shilpi Kapoor, Founder-CEO, BarrierBreak
With education going online in a big way in the post COVID-19 world, accessibility is even more critical. In our guest column today, Shilpi Kapoor, Founder-CEO, BarrierBreak, points out the many reasons why EdTech companies must embrace this as a growth opportunity.
Accessibility is no longer an option for EdTech companies! If you are in the EdTech space, then it’s time you adopt accessibility and fast! Let me explain why!
The adoption of technology in the education sector has seen a steep and unprecedented acceleration and it is a growth opportunity for EdTech companies. It feels like an overnight shift from education institutes who were using only a Learning Management System to suddenly moving everything online.
Online tools are needed for all aspects of teaching, learning, content, infrastructure, management, such as:
- infrastructure tools such as learning management systems, video conferencing tools.
- Online course – including content.
- Content creation tools.
- Students and parental engagement.
- Testing and assessments.
- Internship management.
- Data analytics.
So where does Accessibility fall in the midst of all this?
Reason 1 – The law mandates equal access to education
The education sector was one of the first adopters of disability inclusion and accessibility and the reason was quite simple – Equal access to education is a mandate.
Whether you look at Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504, pr Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), inclusion of people with disabilities is education is no longer optional. So your customers are already looking for solutions that can be used by all their students, faculty and staff.
Reason 2 – Technology-procured needs to be accessible to all
Today, at the time of procurement every school, college, university is asking the question of “How accessible is your product?”, “Is your product Section 508 compliant?” and “Do you have a VPAT?”
Section 508 requires that all electronics and information technology is accessible. The standard that Section 508 references is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
So why wait to adopt accessibility? Be ahead of your competition! Let accessibility be your advantage!
Reason 3 – Increase your customer base
Did you know that there are globally one billion people with disabilities? Adopting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines only improves your products and ensures that a larger cross section of population can also utilise your solutions.
So now you have the opportunity to be an Inclusive Product, attract more customers and increase your customer base!
So to all the EdTech companies our there, don’t wait! Get moving on your accessibility journey!
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