There are a number of reasons to use online textbooks, just as there are many reasons to be concerned as to whether they are the right choice. Accessibility concerns fall under both umbrellas, in some ways a benefit to students with disabilities and at times a cause for concern.
For students with disabilities, one of the main concerns at the beginning of a semester is whether their learning material will be accessible for them. As instructors, this should be an equally important concern, as students’ success is tied into their ability to access their learning resources.
What are some steps that should be taken to ensure that online textbooks remain accessible to students? When looking at online textbooks, consider these issues:
• Is the textbook screen-reader friendly (including tables and images)?
• Do the videos within the textbook have captioning and transcript options?
• Are images within the textbook visually friendly?
• Do the images within the textbook use alt-text that is concise and descriptive?
These are all things that MyEducator strives to maintain on the MyEducator platform. MyEducator goes one step further: MyEducator’s content and development teams are available to address any concerns an instructor or student may come across, ensuring that MyEducator is constantly improving our text.
MyEducator has always, and will always, remain concerned with ensuring that MyEducator resources are accessible to all students. Currently the MyEducator website and courses are “substantially compliant” with ADA, WCAG 2.0, and Section 508 guidelines for making electronic learning resources easily accessible for people with disabilities. (To learn more, please check out MyEducator’s Website Accessibility page.)
Student success hinges on students being given the full opportunity to learn. Ensuring that textbooks are accessible is just one measure that instructors need to take to ensure that students have that opportunity.