In our last article, we outlined how educational institutions, such as schools and school boards, need accessible websites. In this article, we focus on accessible education apps.
Accessible Education Apps
Many schools and school boards now use apps in class, or to communicate with parents. For instance, teachers may use apps to help students:
- Learn subjects like reading, spelling, math, or coding
- Proofread their work
- Study, such as with flash cards, learning games, or quizzes
- Create their own study games or flash cards and share with classmates
Similarly, teachers and other staff can use apps to keep parents informed about what happens at school. For example, staff can use apps to tell parents about:
- Student timetables
- School events, like sports games or parent-teacher interviews
- Student records
Likewise, parents can use apps to:
- Alert staff when their child will be absent
- Register for events, such as field trips
- Pay fees online
Education Apps and Web Content Accessibility
Our last article covered how large schools and school boards need to make their websites accessible. They can do so by complying with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA. The requirements for web accessibility, and the standards of WCAG, apply to apps. As a result, app developers with fifty or more workers need to make their apps accessible. However, smaller developers can also make their apps accessible to as many users as possible. All developers can consult WCAG guidelines when creating or updating their apps.
Moreover, schools and school boards choose which apps they will use in class and for parent-teacher communication. Schools and school boards should choose apps that are fully accessible. Otherwise, students, teachers, and parents with disabilities are left out of learning and communication. In other words, when schools and school boards choose inaccessible apps, they discriminate against students, teachers, and parents with disabilities.
An education standard could make it easy for school staff to choose accessible apps. For instance, the standard could mandate that accessibility training for educators includes how to choose online learning tools that every student can use. Accessible education apps mean that every student, teacher, and parent can be equally involved in school life.