SOURCE: D2L

D2L

November 30, 2016 15:31 ET

D2L Partners With National Federation of the Blind to Help Make Learning Accessible to All

D2L's Brightspace Accepted into the NFB's Strategic Nonvisual Accessibility Partnership (SNAP) program to Help Schools and Organizations Set New Standards for Accessibility

WATERLOO, ON--(Marketwired - November 30, 2016) - D2L, which has helped transform and modernize learning for people all over the world, is once again leading the charge to make learning accessible to all. D2L's Brightspace has become the first learning management system (LMS) to be accepted into the National Federation of the Blind's (NFB) new Strategic Nonvisual Access Partnership (SNAP) program and the second partner after Target Corporation.

This selection reflects D2L's standing as a leader through its embedding of accessibility into its corporate culture and strong advocacy for a great learning experience for all learners. The NFB, the largest organization led by blind people in the U.S., established SNAP to set new standards around accessibility in corporate culture and technology through certification programs and other resources.

D2L makes accessibility central to its corporate strategy, and has delivered an immersive learning experience that's as seamless for blind and low vision users as it is for other learners. For example, to assist the blind with navigation, relevant information is spoken aloud to describe not just the content but the interface itself. D2L designs, develops, and tests the Brightspace platform with accessibility as a core design principle, and the platform is tested without visual assistance in order to ensure a seamless experience for the those with visual impairments. The company also trains instructors on the principles of accessible designs for learning, creates accessible courseware, and offers a number of resources for free online. For more information, please see via this Q&A with D2L President and CEO John Baker.

The attention to accessibility for those with sensory and physical impairments comes at a crucial time. According to the Washington-based National Center for Education Statistics, only 63 percent of students with disabilities graduated from high school in 2014 -- 20 percent lower than the U.S. average. The onus on accessibility lies with companies, schools and post secondary institutions, which often face legal battles brought about by plaintiffs alleging inaccessibility in their web content and technologies.

By partnering with the NFB through SNAP, D2L can help ensure that Brightspace continues to lead the industry with a focus on great learning experiences for those with visual impairments. SNAP helps to support nonvisual access through several aspects of the program. This includes an NFB-appointed group of blind users to evaluate products and services. This team provides valuable feedback, detailing usability experiences and ensuring conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

"D2L has consistently demonstrated an outstanding commitment to accessibility, and we are pleased and proud to recognize this company's continued commitment to equal educational opportunities for the blind. Accessible education platforms and content are critical to the success of blind students in the twenty-first century, and we are pleased to recognize the example that D2L is setting for the entire industry," said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind.

"We're honored to become a SNAP program partner because we've had accessibility as a core design principle in our products and services for many years. It's important for us to incorporate the NFB's expertise as we continue to pioneer a great learning experience for everyone," Baker said. "D2L was established to remove barriers to learning. We're pulling vulnerable learners into the mix instead of pushing them away, by building technology in an accessible way."

ABOUT NFB'S SNAP PROGRAM

The National Federation of the Blind's Strategic Nonvisual Accessibility Partnership (SNAP) program offers a dynamic collaboration between partnering businesses and the NFB's accessibility experts and pool of users/testers. By addressing accessibility throughout the technology development life cycle, with a focus on policy and implementation strategies, SNAP partners can succeed in fully infusing accessibility into their corporate cultures and ensuring that their products and systems are nonvisually accessible. The NFB is very selective in choosing Strategic Nonvisual Accessibility Partners. Partners must have already met the initial accessibility standard of the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.0, AA in order to be considered for SNAP.

ABOUT BRIGHTSPACE

D2L's Brightspace is an LMS that helps schools and institutions deliver personalized learning in a classroom or online to people anywhere in the world. Created for the digital learner, Brightspace is cloud-based, runs on mobile devices, and offers rich multimedia to increase engagement, productivity and knowledge retention. The platform makes it easy to design courses, create content, and grade assignments, giving instructors more time to focus on what's most important – greater teaching and learning. At the same time, analytics reports track and deliver insights into the performance levels of departments, courses, or individuals. Brightspace was recently named the #1 LMS in Higher Ed by Ovum Research and #1 in Adaptive Learning by eLearning Magazine. In addition, Aragon Research included Brightspace in its highly-coveted Hot Vendors In Learning list. www.D2L.com/brightspace

ABOUT D2L

D2L is the software leader that makes the learning experience better. The company's cloud-based learning management system (LMS) is easier to use, more flexible, and smart. With Brightspace, companies can personalize the experience for every learner to deliver real results. The company is a world leader in learning analytics: its platform predicts learner performance so that companies can take action in real-time to keep employees on track. Brightspace is used by learners in higher education, K-12, and the enterprise sector, including the Fortune 1000. D2L has operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil, and Singapore. www.D2L.com

© 2016 D2L Corporation.

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