Campus Technology

Microsoft Education Releases Accessible Technology Survey Results

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is May 19, and Microsoft Education released the results of a nationwide survey it conducted among 1,000 K–12 educators regarding learning, classroom technology and the accessibility of environments for students. A Microsoft blog post revealed that about 46 percent of teachers work one-on-one with students who require accommodations. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in four U.S. adults has a disability that could affect his or her daily life.

The survey’s results revolve around four common themes, according to Microsoft:

  • “Accessible technology allows for more inclusive classrooms for everyone”: 84 percent of teachers surveyed said that accessible learning tools are necessary in order to achieve equity in education. Further, 87 percent agreed that accessible technology can both even the playing field for students with disabilities and also lead to insight that can help teachers better understand and support students.
  • “Teachers need support to do what they do best”: According to the survey, 41 percent of educators report rising levels of mental and emotional stress among students. A full 75 percent of responders said they feel the need to adapt their teaching styles to accommodate this stress. Finally, the research also supports the idea that students with disabilities face a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues.
  • “School systems need support in designing accessible learning environments”: The results indicate that 70 percent of teachers feel there is a significant gap between the resources they need and the ones they have. Although 70 percent of schools have made further investments in technology over the last two years, the additional need for classroom support and accessible learning environments has become top-of-mind.
  • “Pandemic effects on classrooms are more widespread than we think”: 52 percent of responding teachers said they have noticed increased numbers of students falling behind in reading during the last two years, while 39 percent have noticed a similar drop in math. About 59 percent said that a quarter of their students are at least two grade levels behind in either reading or math.

The survey’s full results are available on the Microsoft Education Blog.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].