BizTech Accessibility Award: A Promising Practice in Promoting Information Technology Accessibility

Increasing numbers of postsecondary institutions are exploring ways to promote the procurement, development and use of accessible informative technology (IT) on campus. Most efforts have focused on the creation of policies and guidelines for web accessibility. One promising practice that has been implemented by the University of Washington (UW) is to give an IT accessibility award as part of an annual collection of campus-wide awards on outstanding efforts in the development and use of IT to support academics and administration.

System Change in New Mexico: A Promising Practice on Improving Access to E&IT in a K-12 System

As society progresses farther into the digital age and electronic and information technology (E&IT) becomes as integrated into the classroom as paper and pencils, the question of how to make E&IT accessible to all students, faculty and staff becomes more critical. In a project funded by the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR) of the U.S.

Can more than one Section 508 standard apply to a product or technology?

Yes. The Access Board's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, developed in accordance with Section 508, divides information technology into several categories and delineates accessibility standards for each category. For example, one category in Section 508 addresses software applications and operating systems, and another addresses web-based intranet and internet information and systems.

How long can an "alt" attribute be?

Alternate text for images, often abbreviated "alt text", is supported by all major document publishing formats, most famously Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the language of the World Wide Web. The purpose of alt text is to provide a text equivalent of an image, so people who are unable to see the image have access to the message it’s intended to convey.

What is a "skip navigation" link?

Many websites have redundant navigation systems across multiple pages. Usually these navigation systems include several links across the top and/or down the left side of the page. For screen reader users and users navigating by keyboard, these links can become burdensome if there is no way to efficiently skip past them. A sighted user can jump visually past these links and begin reading the main content of the page. A "skip navigation" link is a technique for facilitating similarly efficient access for users with certain disabilities.

Which set of web accessibility standards or guidelines should I comply with?

Web accessibility is comprehensively covered by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which includes guidelines and checkpoints (called success criteria). There have been multiple revisions of WCAG. Most laws, policies, and legal settlements or resolutions identify either WCAG 2.1 or WCAG 2.0 Level AA as the standard by which accessibility is measured.

Can information technology function as assistive technology?


"Information technology" (IT) is "any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. Information technology includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources."

Are electronic whiteboards accessible to people with disabilities?

Many distance learning courseware packages include a whiteboard tool. The purpose of an electronic whiteboard is the same as that of a blackboard or whiteboard in a school. Instructors and students write or draw on the board in order to share their ideas and to deliver instruction. Electronic whiteboards work as graphical chat tools. They allow multiple users to draw, paint, and share existing graphical files in real time. Unfortunately, exclusively graphical workspace is not accessible to users of screen readers.