Capturing the opinions and experiences of everyone in school and district communities is at the heart of what we do. Hearing all voices is a critical part of building the inclusive cultures of giving and getting feedback that promote real school and district change. As part of our commitment to making sure that everyone (parents, students, and faculty and staff) has the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions—and that the feedback schools and districts collect is truly reflective of the diverse experiences in their communities—we are excited to announce that we have optimized our platform to support accessible survey-taking.
Making Panorama's platform fully accessible
As of today, all survey-takers will be able to use mobile phones, screen readers, and text-to-speech software to provide feedback to their school or district on our platform. Panorama’s products are fully compliant with Section 508 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which establishes the technical specifications necessary for accessibility across various types of technology.
All federally-funded institutions are required to comply with Section 508. Our platform is also in line with W3C’s WCAG 2.0 web accessibility guidelines, which outline how best to support online experiences for all users. We will continue to work to develop more features like our color-blind leadership heatmap so that all users can make full use of our measurement and analytics features.
Making our survey-taking platform fully accessible to all members of school and district communities is an extension of our core values. As an account manager working with schools and districts across the country, it's important to me to take down any barriers we can so that all educators, students, and school communities can benefit from our work at Panorama. In addition to our accessibility work, we keep costs low so that all schools and districts can collect the data they need to make a difference in their communities, and we continue to make all of our research-backed instruments (in nine languages) available to educators everywhere for free.
We have been lucky to have engaged partners in this accessibility work. Tasha Chemel, a recent graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, provided essential feedback and guidance. As someone who has been blind since birth, she acknowledges how hard it can be to find technology products that work for her. “So many tech companies do this work after the fact or not at all,” she told us during user testing. “It’s exciting to work with a company that makes accessibility a priority.”
Many of our school and district partners were important thought partners throughout the process of making changes to our platform. Matt Holloway, Education Specialist, and Claire Abbott, Educator Effectiveness Coordinator, both at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, shared their resources for helping students in special education programs complete surveys. Sean Campbell, Technical Services Specialist at Goochland County Public Schools in Virginia, spoke eloquently about how critical it is for them to be able to make survey-taking accessible to all members of their community.
“We have a diverse community, and it’s important to make sure that everyone can give us their feedback without worrying about how easy it will be for them to answer surveys. Optimizing for survey-taking on mobile phones means that we can get the feedback we need to make a difference for everyone in our district community.”
—Sean Campbell, Technical Services Specialist at Goochland County Public Schools
To learn more about how Panorama can support accessible survey-taking in your school or district, read about how our products and services align with federal and online guidelines.