Accessibility and Google Apps became an issue recently when complaints of discrimination were filed against New York University and Northwestern University. The complaints charged that the schools’ Google Apps implementations were not fully compatible with text-to-speech conversion technology, thus discriminating against students who are blind.
CSU policy requires that HSU, and all other campuses in the CSU system, provide an equivalent experience for people with disabilities. Given this requirement, and our desire to provide the best experience for all of our students, we’ve put together the recommendations below for using Google Apps appropriately in your curriculum.
HSU chose Google Apps for a good reason – they’re flexible, extensible, powerful, and cost-effective. There’s a lot to appreciate about them. They are also continually evolving, and that’s part of what’s happening here. Google has embarked on an aggressive plan to improve the accessibility of their software but, in the meantime, offering an alternative helps ensure that all of your students can effectively access your instructional materials and participate fully in the class.
If you are planning to have your students use Google Apps, consider the following:
If you’ve come across or come up with any workarounds or other ideas not listed here, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure everyone gets to hear about it.
For help and advice on specific Google Apps accessibility issues, contact:
This information was drawn from an evaluation of Google Apps performed by staff and faculty at CSU Channel Islands. You can read the full Google Apps evaluation report on the CSU website.