Desire2Learn (UA’s Springboard) Honored for Work in Accessibility

by Litsa Varonis, varonis@uakron.edu

Imagine your frustration if you had to assemble an item with instructions partially written in a language you did not know. This is similar to what students with disabilities experience when course content or activities are supported by learning technologies not accessible to them. For this reason, when evaluating learning management systems (LMS) that were being considered as a replacement for WebCT, UA included the accessibility of the LMS as a major criterion before deciding on Desire2Learn.

Adaptive Equipment Sign

Desire2Learn (which we brand “Springboard”) was recently recognized by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) for its “groundbreaking work in accessibility.” It was honored with the Dr. Jacob Bolotin award, which recognizes “exemplary leadership and extraordinary accomplishments toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality,” and it also received the Nonvisual Accessibility Gold Certification for its high standard of accessibility.

Learning management system (LMS) accessibility allows all students access to all course resources and therefore an equal opportunity to be successful. Of course, accessibility is enhanced when an accessible LMS is combined with good course design to eliminate barriers.

At The University of Akron, please contact:
•    the Office of Accessibility for information on providing accommodations to students with disabilities.
•    Design and Development Services  for assistance with accessible course design.

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