accessible textbooks

Inclusive Learning: The Benefits Of Accessible Textbooks

Today, we’re living in the most digitally advanced era. Yet, in many parts of the world, learning accessibility continues to remain a significant issue. 

With about 94.7% of disabled K12 students being schooled in regular teaching facilities and less than 10% of books and learning materials being accessibility-compliant, one thing can be concluded – inclusive learning is still a far-fetched dream.

Other impacts aside, this setback proves to be a major hindrance in accelerating the potential of physically challenged children – accounting for a whopping 240 million in total.  

So, in this blog, let’s discuss inclusive learning – what it is, why it’s essential, and how accessible textbooks can emerge as an ideal tool to facilitate it.

Table of Contents:

I. Exploring the Core of Inclusive Learning – What is it?

II. Accessible Textbooks – 3 Typical Features

  1. Navigation and Assistive Functionalities
  2. Adaptive Features
  3. Accessibility Compliant

III. Benefits of Using Accessible Textbooks for Teaching

  1. Creates a Dynamic Learning Environment
  2. Caters to Diverse Learning Styles
  3. Offers Integration with Technology
  4. Fosters Student Engagement 
  5. Improves Learning Experience

IV. Wrapping Up

Exploring the Core of Inclusive Learning - What is it?

Inclusive learning refers to the state of education where each learner is entitled to equal learning opportunities despite their abilities or background.

The main aim of establishing inclusivity in the educational landscape is to build a learning environment that’s positive, supportive, and open to diversity. Besides, such a learning atmosphere also plays a pivotal role in efficiently educating the differently abled student population. 

 

For these reasons and more, inclusivity makes for an essential element of learning and education that must be incorporated.

Accessible Textbooks - 3 Typical Features

A disabled student has distinct needs from a regular, physically functional one. However, accessible textbooks work fluently in accommodating their distinguished learning requirements.

Here are three of their signature features:

For visually impaired students, browsing through a traditional textbook or non-compliant digital learning resources could be tough.

This is why accessible textbooks – especially the ones smartly developed with the help of digital textbook platforms like KITABOO – are the most preferred go-to solution.

These resources consist of ample navigation features like table of contents, hyperlinks, bookmarks, etc., powered by a robust assistive technology that combines to ensure maximum compatibility and minimum obstacles.

Adaptive Features

Another quintessential quality of accessible textbooks is the presence of smart, adaptive features in them. Functions like text-to-speech, alternative texts, captions, subtitles, annotation, etc., further pave the way for effortless utilization of learning materials by limited accessibility learners.

In fact, these textbooks also contain simplistic customization features to tailor-fit the needs of learners with different impairments.

Accessibility Compliant

Last but never least, accessible textbooks are meticulously designed to pass all the accessibility standards laid down by global authorities. This includes Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), etc.

In fact, they also adhere to a country’s local accessibility standards. For instance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Quality Matters (QM) standards. This ensures the highest degree of learning inclusivity.

Benefits of Using Accessible Textbooks for Teaching

Accessible textbooks foster a sense of pluralism in the classroom. But in no manner are their benefits limited to that. So here are some of the best, most common advantages of using barrier-free, accessibility-compliant textbooks for teaching;

Creates a Dynamic Learning Environment

Talk of equal access, disability support, or legal compliance – accessible textbooks facilitate it all. These learning materials are crafted in a way that they establish a dynamic, flexible learning environment in the classroom.

This is a very essential feat to achieve, especially in diverse learning atmospheres. It ensures every student – whether disabled or not – receives proper education, consideration, and assistance at every step of learning.

Caters to Diverse Learning Styles

Accessible textbooks are available not only across a wide range of subjects and disciplines but learning accommodations as well.

So, whether a student has a visual impairment, auditory detriment, or any other kind of disability, these textbooks can be personalized to cater to specific learning needs.

Moreso, they are also equally adaptable to different teaching methods, making them an incredible alternative for educators with unconventional teaching styles.

Offers Integration with Technology

In this digitally pacing world, the only way to ensure disabled students don’t get left behind is by infusing technology into their education. Accessible textbooks serve as an incredible tool that supplements this initiative.

If created through platforms like KITABOO, educators can easily enforce assistive, interactive technology into them, like screen readers, multimedia resources, etc., to ease skill development and instill a sense of technological familiarity among limited accessibility students.

Fosters Student Engagement

Accessible textbooks induce student engagement at a staggering rate. In comparison to regular eBooks, these resources are highly bespoke to the requirements of special needs learners.

Besides, they are also profusely appealing, consisting of multimedia, graphics, audio, video, and other interactive elements. As a result, they are better able to grasp student attention and end up spiking learning engagement.

Improves Learning Experience

Accessibility-compliant textbooks are more than just study materials for disabled students. For them, they stand as a source of empowerment.

They foster inclusivity, collaboration, engagement, skill development, and whatnot. In totality, these textbooks improve the overall learning experience for any learner with impairment and safeguard them from discrimination.

Wrapping Up

Inaccessibility to education is a massive peril slowly impending upon the world. To resist it, it’s imperative to employ tools and solutions that are deliberately structured to eliminate limitations related to accessibility in education. Accessible textbooks perfectly fit this description.

So, harness the benefits of accessible textbooks and make your institution an inclusive, future-forward learning center. 

In this regard, you can definitely leverage the advantages of a top-rated digital textbook platform like KITABOO. It enables educators to create and publish K12 educational resources with smart accessibility features to ensure comprehensive inclusivity in the classroom.

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Vishal Dani

Vishal Dani

Vishal is the Senior Vice President and Head - Cloud Platforms & Technology at HurixDigital. He leads the product development group and technology solutions.