Offering accessible education shouldn’t be an afterthought. With our consulting and optimization support, we guide you through the steps to meet legal requirements and ensure that everyone can engage with your online content.
At O3, we believe that everyone — regardless of their abilities — should have access to equal opportunities in modern education. Embracing accessibility is not just about compliance, but about optimizing your resources to create a more equitable experience. According to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the education your institution provides across digital platforms needs to cater to individuals with various visual, auditory, motor, cognitive, and physical abilities. Whether regarding your content on public or internal platforms, our accessibility experts optimize the experience to allow for everyone to engage with your student or public-facing materials.
By the numbers
relevant cases OCR has resolved + monitored in recent years about discrimination in digital education
of individuals around the world have some form of a disability
compliance reviews launched proactively by the OCR regarding digital accessibility in higher ed
Accessibility benefits us all
Promoting accessibility in online education and college-related content is a crucial step towards equal educational opportunities for all, and it doesn’t mean compromising on technology or financial goals. We help our clients optimize learning platforms (edX, Coursera, Kadenze, etc.) as well as podcasts and videos featuring lectures, conferences, sporting events, admissions information, graduation ceremonies, and other events on social media and third-party platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts to meet compliance and standards. Partnering with O3 for all of your accessibility consulting and optimization solutions ensures that your institution becomes a leader in inclusive educational experiences.
Here are some ways creating an accessible digital education can bring value to your institution:
Help foster a well-educated society
Taking action today to help more students, parents, and members of the public participate in modern American education has countless advantages. When you prioritize accessibility, you positively contribute to the social impact of a more equitable higher education.
Minimize legal risk from ADA and Section 504
Accessibility is not only a responsibility, but a requirement. If you receive any federal financial assistance, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, you must provide appropriate auxiliary aids within services, programs, and activities for students with disabilities.
Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits you from denying individuals with disabilities from accessible opportunities to participate from your online services, programs, and activities.
Avoid repeating legal cases of the past
Learn from the accessibility failures of other institutions; for example, the U.S. v. Regents of the University of California required UC Berkeley to make their public online content on its websites and other platforms accessible to people with disabilities.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has also used its authority to address the inaccessibility in more than 1,000 higher ed cases in recent years that were triggered by complaints of discrimination by members of the public.
Improve accessibility for the general public
The legal framework regarding online accessibility in higher education considers not only the barriers to the student experience, but also to the public. If you offer online programming — such as learning platforms, podcasts, and videos — to those outside of your students — you must legally ensure that the digital content is accessible to all individuals.
Enhance the reputation of your institution
Establishing a comprehensive accessibility strategy can elevate your brand image and reputation. Taking this initiative can increase student, faculty, and donor loyalty by demonstrating your commitment to inclusivity.
How we can help
Digital accessibility audits
Conduct thorough audits for your digital resources — including websites, mobile apps, learning platforms, and third-party platforms — to ensure compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. If it’s content that you provide to either students or the general public, we have the resources to identify gaps in your accessibility compliance.
Ongoing monitoring and remediation
Provide ongoing accessibility monitoring and remediation services to maintain the accessibility and compliance of your digital services, programs, and activities over time.
Journey accessibility analysis
Analyze the digital touchpoints of your student, parent, faculty, and general public journeys to identify barriers and opportunities for improvement.
From concept through delivery, utilize a comprehensive set of top-tier tools to address accessibility considerations holistically in strategy, design, development, and testing.
Inclusivity is critically important. For your institution. For your faculty. For your students.
Contact us today to learn more about how O3's accessibility as a service can help your organization become a leader in inclusive customer experiences, ensuring compliance with accessibility standards, and driving revenue growth.