Kara Zirkle, Accessible Technology Specialist, Miami University

Accessibility Starts in Procurement

  • Accessibility is more than just including alternative forms or documents or captioning videos in existing content. Instead, accessible technology should be instituted from the beginning of course design and creation to ensure true accessibility.
  • Building accessibility into the planning and infrastructure of an organization can reduce long-term costs and result in not only better accessibility within the institution but also better accessibility within education as a whole.

“Time, resource, and budget constraints can make building accessibility into courses difficult.”

Kara Zirkle, Accessible Technology Specialist for Miami University, says accessibility considerations should start at the procurement stage. “A new study stated that by incorporating accessible technologies, organizations increased production by 80 percent,” she says. “From that perspective, if we can incorporate accessible technology on the front end, imagine how those technologies can help those students who don’t disclose that they have a disability or even those students who don’t have a disability but are struggling to make the transition to college. It’s usability as well as accessibility.

This is an excerpt from Expanding Educational Opportunity. The eBook was generously sponsored by Blackboard.

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