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During the (outstanding) EDUCAUSE conference last week I was fortunate to attend a panel on IT accessibility.  One of the panelists, Dan Goldstein, wrote to me afterwards describing a way that higher ed and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) could help one another.  In brief, Dan suggested that when colleges or universities encounter a new piece of technology that doesn't appear to be accessible they could contact him (see his message below) and he could help the company move in the right direction.  

This collaborative approach may reduce the need for DoJ action and settlements such as the recent one with Penn State:  
http://www.nfb.org/images/nfb/documents/word/Penn_State_Agreement.doc

Improving IT accessibility for visually impaired students is something that (I hope) we would all agree is a good thing.  This is one more tool with which to pursue that goal.

Best,

Marty

=================================
Martin Ringle, Chief Technology Officer   
Reed College, Portland, OR 97202          
503-777-7254   email:   ringle@reed.edu                             
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Begin forwarded message:

Marty,
I am greatly dependent on you and your peers to help NFB focus on the technology that is most important to post-secondary institution.  When NFB learns of an inaccessible technology, then the NFB can reach out to the developer to see if that developer will commit to accessibility and, if so, whether we can get that developer on a timetable and whether we can provide technical assistance to speed it on its way.  Because we are outside academia, we are otherwise only likely to stumble around and occasionally trip on what matters, like Google Apps for Ed.    Obviously, I understand that it can be important for some to be able to pass on such information discreetly and I would make every effort to shield my source of information when asked to do so.
Best,
 

Daniel F. Goldstein
Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP
120 E. Baltimore St., Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410)962-1030
(410)385-0869 (fax)
443-923-1314 (direct dial)
dfg@browngold.com
www.browngold.com


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