In today’s digital age, virtual tours have become an invaluable tool for universities to showcase their campuses and attract prospective students. However, it is crucial for universities to go beyond mere visual appeal and ensure that their virtual tours are inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.
Alabama is not only a national powerhouse with football, Greek Life, and education. Their focus on accessibility should signal to you the level of importance of evaluating your current virtual tour accessibility.
Join us as we delve deeper into the importance of universities utilizing virtual tours that prioritize accessibility. We’ll explore the benefits, challenges, and best practices in creating virtual experiences that cater to people with disabilities, ultimately striving towards a more inclusive and equitable higher education landscape.
Accessibility is a fundamental principle that should be at the core of every educational institution’s values. By incorporating features that cater to individuals with disabilities, universities not only comply with legal requirements but also embrace the diversity of their student body. Accessible virtual tours provide equal opportunities for prospective students, allowing them to explore campus facilities, classrooms, libraries, and residence halls in a way that accommodates their unique needs.
5 Questions with a University of Alabama Housing Stakeholder about the Virtual Tour Accessibility Process
Here are 5 Questions with Janine McGee from The University of Alabama after we finished a large production with her creating accessible virtual tours of the University of Alabama residence halls.
- Why did Alabama decide to get accessible virtual tours?
We’ve been discussing virtual tours for several years. As we began doing our research on different formats, it became clear that a project of this magnitude needed to be ADA-accessible. The University of Alabama is committed to ensuring our web communications are accessible to all, so we certainly didn’t want a product that wasn’t accessible.
- Did you learn anything about ADA virtual tours during the process?
We learned more about the scripting process for ADA virtual tours. There were also features that, while attractive on other products, aren’t accessible, and it helped us to clarify our goals for this project.
- How will Alabama use these ADA Compliant virtual tours?
These tours are available on our website and allow us to show students and families what the spaces look like in each hall, whether we have model rooms in that hall or not.
- How was the actual production process (pre-planning, capturing, and on-campus flow) with Barnes Creative Studios?
We spent a lot of time as a department on pre-planning so we could make our shoot week as efficient and smooth as possible. The capturing and on-campus work was very simple and easy once we got started.
- Are you happy with the quality and turnaround of the virtual tours?
We’re very happy with the quality of the tours. The turnaround time is incredibly fast. We had these live on our website the next week.
Bonus Question: Would you recommend Barnes Creative Studios to other Universities that would like to offer accessible virtual tours?
Yes, the Barnes team was great to work with, and the product is a great solution to showing students residence hall spaces in a way that is ADA-compliant.
Contact us today to learn about how we can help you achieve accessibility with your University and College virtual tours.