Universal Access:Electronic Resources in Libraries

Accessible: In the case of a facility, readily usable by a particular individual; in the case of a program or activity, presented or provided in such a way that a particular individual can participate, with or without auxiliary aid(s); in the case of ele ctronic resources, accessible with or without adaptive computer technology.

Access barriers: Any obstruction that prevents people with disabilities from using standard facilities, equipment and resources.

Accessible Web design: Creating World Wide Web pages according to universal design principles to eliminate or reduce barriers, including those that affect people with disabilities and others.

Accommodation: An adjustment to make a program, facility, or resource accessible to a person with a disability.

Adaptive Technology: Hardware or software products that provide access to a computer that is otherwise inaccessible to an individual with a disability.

ALT attribute: HTML code that works in combination with graphical tags to provide alternative text for graphical elements.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA): A comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, and telecommunications .

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII): Standard for unformatted text which enables transfer of data between platforms and computer systems.

Applet: Computer program that runs from within another application. Assistive Technology: Technology used to assist a person with a disability, e.g. wheelchair, handsplints, computer-related equipment.

Auxiliary Aids and Services: Includes a) qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments; b) qualified readers, taped texts, or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments; c) acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and d) other similar services and actions (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Binary files: Electronic files with formatting information that is software dependent.

Braille: System of embossed characters formed by using a Braille cell, a combination of six dots consisting of two vertical columns of three dots each. Each simple Braille character is formed by one or more of these dots and occupies a full cell or s pace.

Browser: Software designed to access and display information available on the World Wide Web. Browsers may be graphical or text-based. Text-only browsers cannot display images, sounds clips, video and plug-in features that graphical browsers can. Captioned Film or Videos: Transcription of the verbal portion of films or videos displayed to make them accessible to people who are deaf.

Closed Circuit TV Magnifier (CCTV): Camera used to magnify books or other materials to a monitor.

Compensatory tools: Adaptive computing systems that allow people with disabilities to use computers to complete tasks that they would have difficulty doing without a computer, e.g. reading, writing, communicating, accessing information.

Digital: Computer formatted data or information.

Disability: Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Discrimination: Act of making a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.

Electronic information: Any digital data for use with computers or computer networks including disks, CD-ROMs, World Wide Web resources.

Facility: All or any portion of a physical complex, including buildings, structures, equipment, grounds, roads, and parking lots.

FM Sound Amplification System: Electronic amplification system consisting of three components: a microphone/transmitter, monaural FM receiver and a combination charger/carrying case. It provides wireless FM broadcast from a speaker to a listener who has a hearing impairment.

Graphical User Interface (GUI): Program interface that presents digital information and software programs in an image-based format as compared to a character-based format.

Hardware: Physical equipment related to computers.

Hearing Impairments: Complete or partial loss of ability to hear caused by a variety of injuries or diseases including congenital defects. Frequent limitations including difficulties in understanding language or other auditory messages and/or in prod uction of understandable speech are possible.

Helper: An external program that can be called up by a Web browser to display specially formatted material, such as word processed documents, spreadsheet documents or video/sound pieces. The Helper program is launched by the Web browser as a separate application to view or play the file.

Host: Any computer which holds Internet resources for access by others, or the computer that maintains your Internet access and electronic mail account.

HTML Validation: Process that analyzes HTML documents in comparison to standard HTML rules, identifying HTML errors and non-standard codes.

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP): Communication protocol used by the World Wide Web to transfer text, graphics, audio and video.

Hyperlink, hypertext: Highlighted word or graphic on a Web page that when selected allows the user to jump to another part of the document or another Web page.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): Programming language or code used to create World Wide Web pages.

Image map: Picture or graphic on a Web page in which hyperlinks are embedded.

Input: Any method by which information is entered into a computer.

Internet: Computer network connecting government, education, commercial, other organization and individual computer systems.

Interpreter: Professional person who assists a deaf person in communicating with hearing people.

Java: Programming language used to create programs or applets that work with some World Wide Web browsers to include features with animation or other characteristics not available through standard HTML.

Large Print Books: Most ordinary print is six to ten points in height (about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch). Large type is 14 to 18 points (about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch) and sometimes larger. The format of large print books is also proportionately larger (u sually 8 1/2 x 11 inches).

Lynx: Text-based World Wide Web browser.

Mainstreaming: The inclusion of disabled persons, with or without special accommodations, in programs, activities, and facilities with non-disabled persons.

Major Life Activities: Functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and participating in community activities (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Multimedia: In terms of electronic information, any data which is presented through several formats including text, graphics, moving pictures and sound.

Optical character recognition (OCR): Technology system that scans and converts printed materials into electronic text.

Output: Any method of displaying or presenting electronic information to the user through a computer monitor or other device.

Physical or Mental Impairment: Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning dis abilities (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Plug-in: Separate program written to be launched by a specific Web browser to display or run special elements in Web pages, such as animation, video or audio that the Web browser does not have the capability to display.

Qualified Individual with a Disability: An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxilia ry aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Reader: Volunteer or employee of a blind or partially sighted individual who reads printed material in person or records to audio-tape.

Server: Any computer that stores information that is available to other users, often over the Internet.

Sign Language: Manual communication commonly used by deaf. Sign language is not universal; deaf persons from different countries speak different sign languages. The gestures or symbols in sign language are organized in a linguistic way. Each indivi dual gesture is called a sign. Each sign has three distinct parts: The handshape, the position of the hands, and the movement of the hands. American Sign Language (ASL) is the most commonly used sign language in the United States.

Specific Learning Disability: Disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in difficulties listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, sp elling, or doing mathematical calculations. Frequent limitations include hyperactivity, distractibility, emotional instability, visual and/or auditory perception difficulties and/or motor limitations, depending on the type(s) of learning disability.

Speech Impairment: Problems in communication and related areas such as oral motor function, ranging from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language or use the oral-motor mechanism for functional speech and feeding. Some causes of speech and language disorders include hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injury, mental retardation, drug abuse, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, and vocal abuse or misuse.

Standard HTML: Version of HTML accessible by all browsers.

Tag: HTML code that prescribes the structure and formatting of Web pages.

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) or Teletypewriter (TTY): A device which enables someone who has a speech or hearing impairment to use a telephone when communicating with someone else who has a TDD/TTY. TDD/TTYs can be used with any teleph one, and one needs only a basic typing ability to use them.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Open and closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilitie s; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Universal Design: Designing programs, services, tools and facilities so that they are useable, without modification, by the widest range of users possible, taking into account a variety of abilities and disabilities.

Universal Resource Locator (URL): Address used to locate a specific resource on the Internet. DO-IT's URL is

Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability which applies to any program that receives federal financial support. Section 504 of the Act is aimed at making educational programs and facilities acces sible to all students. Section 508 of the Act requires that electronic office equipment purchased through federal procurement meets disability access guidelines.

Vision Impairments: Complete or partial loss of ability to see, caused by a variety of injuries or diseases including congenital defects. Legal blindness is defined as visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or wides t diameter of visual field subtending an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.

World Wide Web (WWW, W3 or Web): Hypertext and multimedia gateway to the Internet.