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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.
Technology, Equality, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act
IT Accessibility Risk Statements and Evidence. July 2015. This document was created by the EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group to help identify accessibility risks that IT leaders should consider in their risk management process.
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.
Let us know if you have a policy to contribute to the EDUCAUSE Library.
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
- 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…
- Web Accessibility Toolkit
May 16, 2014
This Association of Research Libraries (ARL) toolkit was created to promote the principles of accessibility, universal design, and digital inclusion. As well as help research libraries achieve di…
- Virtual Desktops: New Opportunities for Support, Software Utilization, and Security
October 16, 2013
A session at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2013
Virtual desktops present many opportunities for campuses large and small. This presentation will highlight two projects: a multi-institution, cloud-based model and a system emphasizing mobile suppo…
- 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 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,…
- Solving the Problem of Classroom Accessibility for the Visually Impaired
November 7, 2012
A session at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2012
As technology becomes increasingly important for classroom instruction, the need to provide a seamless solution to those users with visual impairments becomes paramount. We'll discuss how we…
- 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…
- That Was The Year That Was, 2011
January 9, 2012
So, what did the EDUCAUSE Policy group in Washington do in 2011? In general, we did what we've always done: worked closely with our campus constituents to understand and provide assistance…