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Our mission at Macmillan Learning is to inspire what’s possible for every learner. That means no matter their demographics or abilities, we strive to provide learners with the best chance possible to succeed and flourish in their educational experience. That’s why everything we do – all the content, tools, and platforms we create; the strategies we formulate; the authors and content creators we sign – are all in the service of ensuring that every student engages, learns, and succeeds.
We recognize that facilitating accessibility means more than just checking the box on a series of requirements to meet; rather to us, it is an interesting and important problem to solve. This is the lens through which all of us at Macmillan Learning recognize accessibility. That core motivation to do better is one of the many reasons why we scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index, which ranks companies on their use of best practices that support disability inclusion, for the third consecutive year.
As today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), I want to share some of our progress working towards increasing accessibility for students, instructors, and our own employees. We also have a new set of guiding principles for accessibility to help us along the way.
While I’m incredibly proud of these new guidelines, it is by no means all that we have accomplished this year.
Accessibility continues to be a focus internally, with the introduction of three new accessibility training opportunities for all employees. Employees from our very active Employee Resource Group, AVID (Awareness of Visible and Invisible Disabilities), have published more than 15 blogs, stories and informational posts about their experiences with disability, allyship and accommodations. We also welcomed speakers from Disability:In, National Down Syndrome Society, and Rutgers Center for Adults with Autism to teach us more about accessibility and disability in the workplace.
More than that, we continue to invest in accessible products and technologies. Macmillan Learning was again recognized in 2022 as Global Certified Accessible by Benetech in. This means that we provide “born accessible” digital learning options that ensure that every student, no matter their ability, has the same access to information. Further, the product and engineering teams at Macmillan Learning continue their investment in making student experiences accessible. This year, they presented the accessible online labs solution at CSUN-ATC (California State University Assistive Technology Conference) and the Writing Tools team has introduced a number of new features to make highlighting and feedback more accessible to students with disabilities.
Our continuing interest and investment in accessibility helps us to be a better partner to the students that depend on our learning materials and the instructors that support them. Our accessibility journey continues.