US DoED affirms educational institutions' obligation to make content and education technology accessible
Today the US Department of Education published an Office for Civil Rights FAQ as a follow-up to the Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) they had sent out last June. It puts publicly funded educational institutions on notice about the potential legal ramifications of using inaccessible reading systems (like the early version of the Kindle). This FAQ makes it clear that the law covers all types of technology systems (not just portable eBook readers), and that schools have an affirmative obligation to use accessible technology even if there isn't a single student with a disability in the class where it is being used. Although there is no specific reference to math here, this FAQ certainly pushes the implications for requiring accessible math more than we have seen to date.
For a broader discussion of the specific linkages between federal accessibility requirements and using mathematics content in educational settings, see What are the public policy issues involved in making math accessible?
Steve Noble, Accessibility Research Consultant (Guest Writer)