The higher education access equation is unnecessarily complex. It should be as easy as: faculty assign required materials and students have them on or before the first day of class. The issue is that, while these materials are “required,” students are left to their own devices to navigate the maze that is the course materials market. That variable brings affordability, ease of access to learning opportunities, and consistency of experiences both online and offline into the equation. A solution to the access equation must address all of these issues.
A little over thirty years ago, my life—and the lives of tens of millions of Americans—was changed in immeasurable ways by the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Coming of age in a world where ADA was the law, I was free to imagine and pursue opportunities that were previously impossible for people with disabilities, including visually impaired people like me.
I’m honored to share that VitalSource recently earned a maximum ASPIREscore of 100% for high-quality accessibility standards, and our company now sits at the top of the ASPIRElist of platforms. While we’re proud we have achieved this goal, we’re even more motivated to explore the next frontier in accessibility.
Around the world, more students than ever before are reliant upon digital learning tools and eTexts in order to continue their education under these exceptional circumstances.
As colleges and universities near the end of a truly remarkable spring semester, institution leaders around the world are preparing for the possibility that students may not be able to return to traditional, in-person learning experiences anytime soon due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.