Making Education Equitable and Accessible

As educators, it is critical that our students are learning in a safe, effective, and equitable environment. Our classrooms have a wide variety of learner profiles and meeting the needs of each and every student is our top priority. From ESL/ELL students to students with learning disabilities, IEPs and 504s, we must work to ensure accessibility for all students to engage them in appropriate learning experiences that meet their individual and unique needs.  

According to the Nationwide Equity Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Education is committed to ramping up these efforts by providing the necessary resources, tools, and most importantly, equal opportunity and access to America’s promise of education. Their report on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on America’s students has brought to light the fact that the most heavily impacted populations during the pandemic were those who went into the pandemic with the greatest educational needs and fewest opportunities. It has become increasingly clear, especially over the last three disrupted school years, that we need to create equitable learning experiences for all.  

In addition, the achievement gap has only grown over the last three years, demonstrating to us that we must do more for our minority and historically marginalized students, especially when it comes to the increase in hybrid and distance learning environments. It is possible to ensure equity and accessibility in all learning environments—virtual, hybrid, and in-person—as long as educators are equipped with the appropriate tools, resources, and support to meet the needs of their students. 

This data shows us that we have a great deal to do to improve equity and accessibility in education and increase student success. However, it also provides us with the opportunity to implement positive improvements and build a stronger foundation for education moving forward. We have a clearer picture of where the cracks are and a strong drive to tackle them and create lasting, supportive change. 

Thankfully, efforts to fund programs that increase accessibility within schools and districts continue to be made on a large scale. We are more aware of the specific needs of our students and educators and have the tools to make improvements. But there is still more work to be done. One of the biggest areas of need is in ensuring accessibility to technology and resources and the ability to accommodate students with language barriers and disabilities, in all learning environments.

How Progress Learning Can Help

At Progress Learning, we are committed to supporting educators in providing equitable learning experiences to their students. We understand the challenges that teachers and students face, especially in a post-pandemic learning environment. We make it our job to stay current with the nationwide call to action for more equitable and accessible education and are constantly updating and improving our platform to better meet these needs. 

Our goal is to provide you with the tools necessary for engaging your students and ensuring they succeed. The Progress Learning platform makes meeting the unique needs of all learners easy with 100% standards-based materials and the ability to individualize assessments and practice for your students. This empowers you to offer remediation or challenges at the appropriate level of knowledge and skills for each and every student. 

One of the key requirements in the post-pandemic world of education is providing accommodations that can be made in all learning environments, whether virtual, hybrid, or in-person. In our Assignment/Assessment Builder, we give you the tools you need to adjust the amount of answer choices, select questions and sort by Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Levels, and easily duplicate and edit assignments to customize them for specific students. Additionally, accessibility features such as font size, increased spacing, printer-friendly assessments, video transcripts, Spanish translation, read aloud options for questions and answers, and highlighter tools make accommodating learning needs easy.

In order to ensure equity for all of our students, it is important that we not only focus on accessibility and accommodations but also the individual needs of all learners by personalizing learning experiences for each student. With our targeted, customized study plans and individualized skills practice built in for students, the ability to personalize learning plans is no longer such a daunting task. 

In addition to our accessibility tools and personalized learning resources, we strive to provide educational opportunities to our current and prospective users via our consistently updated News & Blog posts as well as our relevant training and webinars. We are proud to be a part of the nationwide effort to improve accessibility and equity in education by continuing to support teachers and students in all identified areas of need. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Progress Learning can support your efforts to address equity in education, please join us for a special webinar, Inclusive and Equitable Learning Experiences for all Students on September 22, 2022 at 12pm ET. Can’t make it? Request a demo with us to get started.

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