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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.

Institutional Examples

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.

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