Which library databases are accessible?

A cornerstone in every student's education is the library, which provides a resource for retrieving information and conducting research. Web-based library databases provide the gateway through which much of today's scholarly information is accessed. Many of these products originally had text-based interfaces, but, like most other websites, most have migrated to a graphic interface and have done so with varying degrees of attention paid to accessibility issues.

Several studies have tested and documented the accessibility of various library database services:

What types of closed caption files do video players support?

Captions are necessary for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to access the audio portion of video presentations. Captions are either open (part of the video, therefore always visible) or closed (a separate text track, which can typically be turned on or off). Open captions are displayed in all video players. However, in some context there are advantages to closed captions as described in the Knowledge Base article What is the difference between open and closed captioning?.

Is it reasonable to use an ad hoc approach to accessibility of electronic and information technology?

It is unlikely that electronic resources in educational institutions, libraries, and other organizations will be accessible to students and employees with disabilities without the establishment of specific policies and/or procedures. As technology applications become ubiquitous and multimedia is the norm, an ad hoc approach to accessibility becomes increasingly less effective.

Are there any court cases on web accessibility and the obligations of postsecondary institutions under Section 504 or ADA?

Not yet, but it is only a matter of time. Although it is always hard to know with certainty what the results might be in a particular court case, it is well established that when a court is asked to decide a new issue, for example, obligations to provide accessible websites, it will look to earlier cases that have raised similar issues.

How widespread is the use of information technology in preschool through high school?

Since 1997, Education Week has published an annual fifty-state report on how U.S. middle and high schools are utilizing technology. The free online report, Technology Counts, provides extensive summary information and state-by-state data about level of access to technology, capacity to use technology, and actual use of technology.

What are relay services, and how do I access them?

For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, telephone communication involves communicating by text rather than by voice, typically using a teletypewriter (TTY), also known as a TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). A basic TTY consists of a keyboard, a display screen, and a modem, which operates over standard telephone lines. If a deaf individual is communicating with another TTY user, both users send and receive text. If a deaf individual is communicating with a hearing individual who doesn't have a TTY, they will use the Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS).

What is the National Council on Disability (NCD), and how are they involved in accessible electronic and information technology?

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress on issues affecting Americans with disabilities. NCD is comprised of a team of fifteen Presidential appointees, an Executive Director appointed by the Chairman, and twelve, full-time professional staff.

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies.

University of Wisconsin-Madison: A Promising Practice in Development, Articulation, and Support of a Web Accessibility Policy

The University of Wisconsin–Madison was one of the first universities to develop a web accessibility policy. Its development was an effort to make the web more accessible for people with vision, hearing, and other disabilities. The original policy, enacted in December of 2000, was based on the guidelines developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI™) of the World Wide Web Consortium.