Digital inclusion: Removing barriers for people with disabilities.
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Digital inclusion: Removing barriers for people with disabilities.

Digital inclusion: Removing barriers for people with disabilities.

Barriers are created daily by proctoring service providers. Some can require end users to have the physical ability to pick up their monitor and scan their room, others may use biometrics/AI to monitor the faces of people and flagging those with facial deformities or when eye tracking is utilized, penalize them for unconventional eye movements. While these issues arise regularly, and financial penalties are coming from regulators and the courts, for the most part people with disabilities have been excluded from the digital world especially when it comes to proctoring services.

Recently, numerous countries across the globe have started to enforce accessibility rights for people with disabilities, including equivalent access to electronic and information technology. A disability is often characterized as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. With almost all aspects of our lives now relying on the internet in some manner, it is easy to see the challenges created , applications, and technologies are not designed and coded to account for people with disabilities (this design-based accommodation is often referred to as being “accessible”).

Facts to Consider:

·       The World Health Organization states that globally the number of people of all ages visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind.

·       By 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss and at least 700 will require hearing rehabilitation.

·       Every year, around the world, between 250 000 and 500 000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI).

The people facing these challenges are involved in all aspects of society and thereby are an active part of our workplace and educational institutions

Many technology companies assume a normal level of ability across their client base and forget that people with disabilities also participate in the digital world. To appropriately respond to this portion of our population, service providers need to consider accessibility at the design phase and involve persons with disability in the creation and/or testing phases of their technology development.

Integrity Advocate has found that prior to indicating a change or adding additional functionality that simple consideration be given to end-user limitations. This can be done by testing the end-user experience using assistive technology products such as Freedom Scientific JAWS 2020, NVDA 2020.1, Freedom Scientific ZoomText 2020, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13, Microsoft Windows accessibility features, and keyboard-only control.

Additionally the use of third party auditors that can evaluate the end product against industry guidelines and evaluation methods can further improve accessibility (e.g. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and Revised Section 508 standards).

Integrity Advocate not only believes but has been able to show that it is possible to provide a proctoring service that can ensure academic integrity without privacy and accessibility rights being limited or completely lost.

Get in touch today to learn more about our best-in-class online participation monitoring & proctoring software solution.