Companies that are committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness (DEI) provide products and services that authentically and accurately reflect the learners they serve, whoever they are and who they are. wherever they live. These organizations have developed and incorporated consistent and consistent principles to clearly define DEI content and DEI-aware products. They have shaped and promoted editorial guidelines for the products they shape, which will land in the hands of educators and students.
These institutions recognize the importance of meeting learners where they are and the positive impact this has on outcomes. It is important to note that these companies seek equitable access to their products and content regardless of identity, geography, race, religion, socio-economic background, etc. They proactively plan for a diverse customer base and don’t treat accessibility as an afterthought. Essentially, companies that promote DEI within their own company and through their products and services believe that everyone should be treated with respect and given an equal chance to succeed.
What does DEI symbolize and what does a DEI initiative cover?
DEI, in general, may translate into different actions for each company, but all initiatives are rooted in the same values. Shari Eberts, hearing health advocate and speaker, offers advice through these definitions:
Diversity is the presence of differences which may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socio-economic status, language, (disability), age, religious commitment or political perspective.
Equity promotes justice, impartiality and equity in procedures, processes and the distribution of resources by institutions or systems.
Inclusion means that those who are diverse feel welcome.
Organizations that embrace DEI promotion tend to establish and follow a set of basic guiding principles, particularly in the creation of their educational products, which resemble the following:
- Respect for human rights; they strive to create content that is free from implicit or explicit discrimination, bias and bias.
- Content development that demonstrably incorporates a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity.
- Evidence-based learning support, using the best available research for student learning.
From these principles, more specific guidelines can emerge:
- Ensure that employees and customers feel a sense of belonging, both in the organization and in their own communities.
- To ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in the business and/or through the use of the products they create.
- Develop products and services that represent the diversity of learners served.
- Slant content development towards social justice.
Taken together, this might at first glance appear to represent a solid first step on a DEI journey – a set of clear goals and definitions. And while admirable, the above list alone suffers from one omission in practice: accessibility. Functional designs can no longer be an afterthought; they must become an integral part of any conversation about DEI initiatives.
People with physical or cognitive challenges have unique and important qualities that help form their identity and contribute to their outlook. Moreover, people with disabilities are not monolithic; they are diverse and deserve the proactive presence of inclusion and equity in the products they consume and the companies with which they engage.
How is accessibility incorporated into your definition of diversity, equity and inclusion?
Leaders in the education ecosystem recognize the importance of making success accessible to all students. However, despite an increased focus on DEI strategies, this focus often leaves the student with different abilities at the periphery, due to a lack of accessibility considerations.
DEI should mean the inclusion of – and the opportunity to succeed for – everyone, including those with various physical or cognitive challenges. Stronger definitions of diversity and inclusiveness are needed, definitions that encompass both educational content and digital accessibility. Looking at emerging trends in edtech versus DEI, we need to understand how accessibility is being addressed (or not) and provide strategies to help ensure it is prioritized. This requires focusing on content, design, and user experience.
To learn how to set up an accessibility program for your organization, download our white paper.
EdTech Magic reshapes learning solutions for customers at different stages of their product and platform journey. We work with educational publishers, IT companies and institutions to focus on creating “born accessible” content and technology. Illustrating our motto “Digital learning for all”, we lead by example, with a diverse, multicultural and differently abled workforce, where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.
We can check your content and platforms for compliance and help you create products that reach all learners with different abilities. We can raise your product to the next DEI level. By prioritizing accessibility, you ensure compliance with local, national, and international accessibility laws, expanding the reach of your product, and you’ve done the right thing too.
Magic EdTech has been a leader in creating and fixing accessible technology in the edtech space for nearly 30 years. Our team includes IAAP certified accessibility experts who focus on inclusion every day. And the members of our content development team have diverse backgrounds and a collective mountainous experience in education, which helps them consider all users in their writing. We have served over 200 customers over the past three decades, with over five million product users worldwide.
Our organization strives to create opportunities that ensure the rights of people with different abilities are included in DCI conversations and definitions. We are committed to pursuing the happiness of humanity by making lifelong digital learning accessible, affordable and sustainable for all.