Best Practices for Digital Accessibility in Higher Education

Three takeaways from accessibility champions at Accessing Higher Ground.

Groups of people meeting around tables.
December 2, 2019

In November, professionals from all over the U.S. gathered in Westminster, Colorado for the Accessing Higher Ground conference, where they learned about best practices for ensuring digital accessibility in higher education.

We didn’t want to miss an opportunity to connect with these leaders—so we invited accessibility champions from over a dozen organizations together to join us during the event to celebrate student successes and discuss ways to remove the barriers they face. Here’s what we heard:

  1. Accessibility training is necessary—for everyone. There is no one-size-fits-all model for accessibility training, but the key takeaway was that training needs to be provided at all levels and within all departments of the organization. While self-guided programs are desirable for many, hands-on training leads to greater confidence and know-how.
  2. Cross-campus collaboration is key. In order to create buy-in, cross-campus collaboration is essential. Advocate for accessibility to be woven into your organization’s strategic plan. Build a network within your organization that includes multiple departments, so your circle of influence broadens. 
  3. Accessibility needs to be addressed early. Review your procurement process to ensure that your organization's purchases are meeting the needs of all students. Look for vendors who are committed to accessibility. Ask questions and look for credible feedback.

As an education organization, we know how important it is to learn from other organizations and their experiences, which is why meeting with digital accessibility champions from a range of organizations provided such valuable insights into the progress made and the work that is still to be done to ensure that all students can participate equally. 

Perkins Access accessibility consulting supports the development of organization-wide strategies for implementing accessibility best practices. Whether you are new to digital accessibility or want to scale your existing program, we can help. 

Want to learn more? Contact Perkins Access today to get started.

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