As educators transition to online learning, it’s critical that any online content meets accessibility guidelines. Luckily, most learning platforms and applications have made accessibility a priority in their product design, and the tools to be able to present an accessible online education are already available.
One example of a company that puts accessibility at the forefront is Microsoft. From the built-in document accessibility checker, to incorporating live captioning on Teams calls, to narrating PowerPoint slides and more, Microsoft has been designing with accessibility in mind for years. Now, more than ever, these built-in features are key to everyday learning.
Students can still receive an inclusive education from a distance – the right tools just need to be utilized. In this Microsoft Education Blog post, Nine tips to make your remote lesson a success, Koen Timmers gives practical examples of ways to incorporate Microsoft Teams, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway, Forms and more into your remote classroom.
Speaking of Microsoft Teams, you can create a Teams Meeting from within your learning management system. One LMS with this capability is Schoology. Easily create a Teams Meeting within a course by following these simple steps.
Lastly, please don’t forget about the basics when it comes to accessible online content, including, but not limited to the following:
- Keyboard navigation
- Alternative text
- Captioning & transcripts
And, even with ensuring that your online educational resources and materials are accessible and inclusive to all, alternatives to the online material should be readily available as well.
If nothing else, a positive outcome from this pandemic will be that digital learning has taught everyone why accessibility benefits all, and that alone is an invaluable lesson.