Photo of Chris and Corey in the computer lab

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 electronic resources, accessible with or without adaptive computer technology.

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.

Address: A sequence of characters that identifies a network user or computer.

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

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

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A 1990 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.

Applet: Computer program that runs from within another application.

ASCII (The American Standards Code for Information Interchange): A standard format for representing text that can be understood by all computers.

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).

Baud: Approximately one bit per second transfer of data.

Binary file: A file containing information that is not represented in the file by ASCII characters. This may be a graphic, a formatted file, or even a computer program.

Bookmark: A marker that your World Wide Web browser allows you to keep so that you can automatically connect to the resource at a later time.

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 space.

Captioned film or videos: Transcription of the verbal portion of films or videos displayed to make them accessible to people who are deaf.

Chat: Real-time communication on the Internet where one person types words on a computer and others can see them on their screens almost instantaneously.

Client software: A software program that allows you to use a service from a server on the Internet.

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

Command: A direction that you give a computer.

Communication software: A program that allows your personal computer to communicate with other computers over phone lines.

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).

Cyberspace: Essentially, the whole Internet.

Dial-up: Connecting to a computer by using a telephone line.

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 an impairment (American with Disabilities Act of 1990).

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

Discussion: A group of people interested in a topic who are subscribed to a list which is maintained on a computer on the Internet.

Download: To move files from a remote computer to your computer.

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

Electronic mail (e-mail): A message transmitted over a network.

Ethernet: A method for directly connecting a computer to a network in the same physical location.

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

FAQ: Frequently asked questions.

File: A collection of information stored on a computer.

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.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP): A process that allows you to copy files from one computer to another on the Internet.

Freeware: Free software programs.

Gopher: A text-based system for connecting to resources on the Internet.

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.

Hacker: A person that breaks into computer systems and accounts.

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. Frequently limitations include difficulties in understanding language or other auditory messages and/or in producing understandable speech.

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

Home page: The first page that appears on your screen when you access a WWW site.

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

HTML validation: A process that analyzes HTML documents in comparison to standard HTML rules, identifying HTML errors and non-standard codes.

Hyperlink: 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.

Hypermedia: Documents which combine hypertext links and multimedia elements.

Hypertext: Documents which contain links to other documents within them.

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

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.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN): A very fast digital service provided over phone lines.

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

Internet Protocol (IP): The Internet standard protocol that provides a common layer over dissimilar networks, used to move packets among host computers.

Internet Service Provider (ISP): A service that provides access to the Internet.

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

Photo of young children working on a laptop in the computer lab

IP address: The numeric address of a computer connected to the Internet; also called Internet address.

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.

Log off: To disconnect from a host computer.

Log on: To sign on to a host computer.

Login name: The name you use when you log on a computer.

Logout: To quit using (or, log off) a computer.

Lynx: Text-based World Wide Web browser.

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).

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

Microsoft Internet Explorer™: A graphical Web browser.

Mobility impairment: Disability that affects movement.

Modem: Hardware that allows your computer to transmit data over phone lines.

Multimedia: The combination of several forms of media including text, graphics, audio, full-motion video, fax, and telephone to communicate information.

NCSA Telnet: Internet software that allows you to log on to another computer on the Internet; it was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois.

Netiquette: Network etiquette.

Netscape Navigator™: A graphical Web browser.

Network: A group of computers connected together.

Offline: Not connected to a computer network.

Online: Connected to a computer network.

Operating system: Basic software that runs a computer (e.g., Windows, UNIX, VMS, or Macintosh™ System 8).

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; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities (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.

Point of Presence (POP): A place where your computer dials in to access the Internet.

Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP): Procedure that allows a computer to use Internet protocols using regular telephone lines and high-speed modems.

Posting: The act of sending a message to a discussion list, Usenet newsgroup, or bulletin board.

Protocol: A mutually determined set of formats and procedures governing the exchange of information between systems.

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 auxiliary aids and 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.

Remote access: The ability to access a computer from outside a building in which it is housed. It requires communications hardware, software, and physical links.

Search engine: A program that searches for resources on the Internet.

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

Shareware: Software you can try before you purchase.

Sign language: Manual communication commonly used by deaf. Sign language is not universal; deaf persons from different countries speak different sign languages. American Sign Language (ASL) is the most commonly used sign language in the United States.

Software: Computer programs.

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, spelling, 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, intellectual disability, drug abuse, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate, and voice abuse or misuse.

Standard HTML: Version of HTML accessible by all browsers.

System administrator: Someone who operates and maintains a computer system.

T1, T3: Very fast data transmission lines used by Internet providers.

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 telephone, and one needs only a basic typing ability to use them.

Telnet: An Internet tool that allows you to connect to a remote computer.

Text: Words or other sequences of letters and numbers.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP): A system that allows computers to communicate with one another over the Internet network.

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 abilities; 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 usable, without modification, by the widest range of users possible, taking into account a variety of abilities and disabilities.

Universal Resource Locator (URL): A standard format for an address a specific resource on the Internet. For example, DO-IT's URL is

Unix: The operating system that most Internet host computers use.

Upload: To copy a file from your computer to a remote computer.

Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML): A tagging language for conveying three dimensional information over the Internet using a VRML browser.

Virus: A program designed to spread itself to computer, stay undetected, and cause problems on the computer systems it infects.

Vision impairment: 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 widest diameter of visual field subtending an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.

Web Browser: Software that allows you to navigate through the World Wide Web.

Webmaster: A person in charge of maintaining a Web site.

Wireless network: A method which uses infrared, ultraviolet, or radio waves to connect computers into a network.

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