The latest EdReady update went through on Saturday morning, June 23.
This update included a lot of ‘infrastructure’ work to make sure we are using the most updated versions of embedded software kernels and also have things configured for optimum performance and recovery time. And as usual, we squashed a variety of bugs and other reported issues.
However, the bulk of the changes for this release related to accessibility. The big news is that we think we may have finally achieved the target compliance standard: WCAG 2.0 AA. This effort has taken the better part of two years and included a humungous effort from the NROC editorial team to work up alt-text descriptions for every single embedded image in every question in the default EdReady question pool. The team expended similar effort to provide access to images in the topic texts, and the work is ongoing in Algebra and elsewhere. We’re talking about literally thousands of images…. whew!
In addition, we were finally able to activate an EdReady option which we initially worked on nearly two years ago. This option, where students can ‘Request accessibility support’, instructs EdReady to behave differently to make sure that the resources provided to a blind student are fully accessible. For now, the option is fairly blunt, where we have all of the media and questions in the system grouped as either ‘accessible’ or not. However, this infrastructure gives us a solid foundation for building in more nuance and sophistication over time, where students will be able to consider and then apply their needs and preferences in a much more personal manner. We are excited to be able to continue working with our accessibility partners, including Benetech and the IDRC, both of whom are helping to solve some really tricky problems around inclusive design and universal accessibility. This is only the beginning!
For now, we are scheduled to receive a third-party audit against the WCAG 2.0 AA standard in July. We will share the results of that audit (and any further work that might be needed) as soon as we get it!
Happy start of summer, everyone.
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