Given the potential barriers to accessibility, postsecondary institutions need to be careful in selecting the digital learning materials and technologies they use. Over the past several years, there have been increased numbers of complaints filed with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education and the Civil Rights Division (CRD) of the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the accessibility of digital content, online delivery systems, and technologies. It is therefore important for postsecondary institutions to be aware of their legal obligations in order to ensure that all of their students are able to participate in and benefit from these new learning opportunities.
In recent years, the number of students with disabilities enrolled in institutions of higher education has been growing. Among postsecondary students with disabilities, more than 50% are enrolled in community colleges. 1 During this time, postsecondary institutions have increasingly begun to embrace the flexibility of online learning and digital learning materials (such as textbooks, notes, slides, and graphs) in electronic format. This shift toward increased digitization holds great promise for students who may struggle with traditional, print-based materials. This shift, however, also brings challenges as digital materials and technologies are not always designed to be accessible from the start.
In this guide you may find more information regarding accessibility in higher education .
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