The consulting team at focusEDU has the accessibility planning expertise to assist the leadership of higher education. Educational institutions increasingly deploy digital information on the public-facing Website, the institutional portal, and the institutional learning management system. Further, institutions are driven to make everything available on mobile devices, resulting in an unprecedented level of information at the fingertips of every member of the academic community. If these environments are not designed, deployed, and updated to ensure that every constituent can access and interact with all information, some may be faced with significant challenges to their ability to engage with the institution. The team of experienced accessibility planning strategy consulting experts at focusEDU can provide advice and plans to help your institution.
For most institutions, this challenge poses a minimal concern until the Office of Civil Rights or a legal firm registers an accessibility-related complaint. Such complaints can result in long protracted and distracting reviews of existing information systems, often leading to public sanctions, fines, or compensation that can run into significant amounts.
To guard against these negative outcomes, institutions of higher education should proactively create a comprehensive institution-wide technology access program that ensures all potential, existing, and future students, faculty, and staff can access information in an equally effective and equally integrated manner.
focusEDU retains an experienced staff and proven business model to address information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility. We employ senior
professionals with decades of higher education experience who help colleges and universities, and their constituents, to transition from the traditional academic culture to today’s accessible environment, one that is built on the sound business practices of planning, accountability, and measurement.
The focusEDU Instructional Services team is well versed in accessibility standards, the requirements for accessible documents, for assessable courses (whether online, hybrid, or face-to-face), for accessible classrooms, and for accessible administrative services for students. For example:
- Documents and Course Materials: Our team of instructional designers and technologists are experienced in creating accessible instructional materials, Web pages, and documents that follow the principles of universal design. We routinely use tools to test the accessibility of all documents and Web-based content and have contracted with visually impaired colleagues using a screen-reader to check random sample of online courses for accessibility.
- Public Websites and Self-Service Applications: Our team can review and analyze your public-facing web pages and your web-based self-service applications for accessibility compliance, identify accessibility issues, and recommend solutions.
- Course Quality: Members of our Instructional Services team are expert in applying course quality rubrics such as Quality Matters (QM). Most are qualified QM peer reviewers, two are QM master trainers, and two are QM coordinators at their home institutions.
- Classroom and Learning Space Design: focusEDU technologists have led extensive classroom planning, design, and management efforts at several institutions throughout the country.
- Training: An important component of a holistic solution to ADA compliance is training and support for members of the institution. To this end, our Instructional Services team for accessibility planning strategy consulting has worked with different client institutions to lead the creation of online self-instructional faculty and staff development courses on accessibility.
focusEDU’s team of professionals have decades of experience in higher education and have expertise in online education, online content delivery systems, and education technology. We can help you build a comprehensive proactive ICT accessibility plan, tailored to the unique needs and culture of your institution.