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Colleges and universities have long been responsible for ensuring that persons with disabilities have equitable access to educational opportunities as well as the campus workplace. Federal and state laws require it. As technology has become ever more central to the development and delivery of institutional programs, resources, and services, the importance of providing an accessible technology environment across a college or university has grown. To the extent that technology is critical to the core functions of the institution, the accessibility of that technology to persons with disabilities has become a key factor in determining whether facilities, programs, and services are accessible to them.The 7 Things You Should Know About IT Accessibility details why higher education institutions need to pay attention to this issue.
Accessible Web Design
The EDUCAUSE Accessibility Guidelines guide is a working draft developed by the IT Accessibility Constituent Group at the request of EDUCAUSE staff. It is designed to provide guidance to authors, reviewers, and publishers associated with EDUCAUSE Quarterly (EQ), and to the larger EDUCAUSE community, on how to ensure that web content is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
Web Accessibility Toolkit ARL created this toolkit to help research libraries achieve digital accessibility.
North Carolina State University IT Accessibility The Office of Information Technology at North Carolina State University maintains this site as a primary source for the accessibility services and resources it offers. It provides links to relevant legislation and policies (institutional, state, and federal), web accessibility standards, and tools for web accessibility testing. The site also identifies the areas in which IT accessibility consultation services are available to the university community.
University of Washington Information Technology Accessibility This site offers a variety of resources on technology accessibility, including policies and standards (institutional, state, federal, and international), guidelines for producing accessible web pages, information and recommendations on procuring accessible IT, and links to tools and resource sites for addressing IT and web accessibility needs. Of particular note, the site hosts a list of higher education IT and web accessibility policies from nearly a dozen colleges and universities.
WebAIM A program of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University, WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) supports a comprehensive array of accessibility information, tools, application reviews, and training services. Institutions seeking to reevaluate and renew their approach to web accessibility can take advantage of WebAIM’s web accessibility implementation model. The program also provides free access to a tool for assessing the accessibility of any web content, WAVE, and the WebAIM blog includes reviews of assistive technologies for web access.
The U.S. Department of Justice's Americans with Disabilities (ADA) website includes the following information:
- Frequently Asked Questions About the June 29, 2010, Dear Colleague Letter
- A Guide to Disability Rights Laws
- ADA Standards for Accessible Design
- ADA Questions and Answers
The Australian Human Rights Commission website on World Wide Web and information accessibility includes information on;
Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for Accessibility
- Accessibility of Instructional Web Sites in Higher Education
July 30, 2007
Accessibility of Instructional Web Sites in Higher Education A collaborative program offers assessment and consultation to instructional Web site developers for Section 508 compliance By …
- Evaluating Websites for Accessibility
May 30, 2013
A session at the Southeast Regional Conference
Campuses use websites as a major means of communication, both for individuals within the campus community and for those who are seeking information about the institution. A quick review of websit…
- Google Accessibility Improvements
April 22, 2013
Google started informing its applications user groups today about the accessibility improvements it has made to a range of its applications and software platforms. (Please see below for the quote…
- Google Apps accessibility improvements, Sept. 21 webconference
September 19, 2011
My colleague, Joan Cheverie, blogged on Friday about Google's announcement that day of its accessibility improvements to some of the key elements of Google Apps for Education. You can view J…
- Google Apps Accessibility: A Light at the End of the Tunnel?
October 5, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, Google announced accessibility improvements to a number of Google Apps , including Google Docs (documents list, documents, and spreadsheets), Google Calendar (agenda vi…
- Google Response on NFB Google Apps Concerns
December 20, 2012
Earlier in the week, I posted a review of the most recent concerns about the accessibility of Google Apps for Education expressed by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). In that piece,…
- Making Web Accessibility Work for Your Institution Is Everyone's Business
May 31, 2012
Making sure that all students, faculties, and staffs have access to web content is critical in education today. When those individuals have disabilities, access may well depend on what it is th…
- NFB: Google Apps Accessibility Not There Yet
January 13, 2012
This last October, I wrote about comments made by the National Federation of the Blind’s legal counsel, Dan Goldstein, indicating that Google appeared to be on track to resolve NFB concerns ab…
- Online Assessment Tools: Do They Work for Students with Disabilities?
October 24, 2007
A session at the EDUCAUSE 2007 Annual Conference
Curriculum, instruction, and pedagogy, when linked with good assessment strategies, provide excellent measures of teaching and learning effectiveness. Technology enables the use of universal design…
- The Web Accessibility in Higher Education Project
February 23, 2015
Key Takeaways The Web Accessibility in Higher Education Project works across 25 Oklahoma institutions of higher education to provide resources and help campuses meet technology acces…