This article describes some guidelines and resources for Google Workspace for Education accessibility.
Google Workspace for Education offers a lot of potential to our users because of its ability to facilitate collaboration. However, Google has not built in the necessary accessibility features to allow all users, especially people with certain functional impairments, to easily collaborate in this environment. While we are excited about and want to promote the collaborative nature of Google Workspace for Education products on campus, caution is necessary in planning how to implement them.
These guidelines and resources are provided to delineate the ways in which Google products may be used accessibly. For an initial overview of accessibility features available for Google Workspace for Education services, see Using Google products: How to use accessibility features.
If you are an instructor, please note that you are legally prohibited from requiring the use of non-accessible services. This can include some Virginia Tech Google Workspace for Education, other than Virginia Tech Google Workspace for Education Mail. When deciding on technologies for your course, you are obligated by law and the university's mission to consider the accessibility barriers of the tools you will use and what types of disabilities may be affected by their use. Do not allow any of your students to be left out by commission or omission. If you decide to use Virginia Tech Google Workspace for Education, make sure that your audience has available use of alternative, accessible software. Consider a change in pedagogy to include small group participation, eliminating the need for a person with a disability to interact directly with a Google Workspace App.
If you are an instructor needing assistance in creating an accessible course, contact Dr. Susan Angle, Director of Services for Students with Disabilities at (540) 231-0858.
For assistance with using Virginia Tech Google Workspace for Education accessibility features, contact Virginia Tech Assistive Technologies.