Web Accessibility

Statewide Web Accessibility TrainingIt is very important for information and materials delivered online to be usable by a wide range of individuals. Online services and information including distance education must be accessible to people with disabilities.

The University of Alaska Office of Information Technology outlines requirements for UA web sites  and the UAA Web Publishing Site outlines local policy compliance information based on a tiered system.

The UAA Accessibility Site offers information on web accessibility, and features rich training materials.

Click here for a handout from UAA web accesibility trainings

DSS invites web designers to test their sites and experience what it is like to surf the web when using assistive technology and/or adaptive software.

Sites can be tested at any of the DSS  maintained adaptive computing stations. If your department would like clarification on standards or guidelines to be followed you can contact this office at 786-4530 and/or follow the links below.

For more information , or to request participation at an upcoming training please contact aydss@uaa.alaska.edu.

 

Articles of Interest

There are a lot of articles on web accessibility. Below is a small smattering:

The Chronicle of Higher Education ran several pieces lately including one titled Penn State Accused of Discriminating Against Blind Students and another titled ADA is a Major Vulnerability for Online Programs and a great piece titled Universal Design, Usability, and Accessibility which provides links to additional articles.

The American Foundation for the Blind conducted a survey called Distance Learning: How Accessible are Online Educational Tools 

WebAIM did a check of college sites against the 508 standards and 97% failed to meet basic requirements for accessibility.

The ATHEN E-Journal featured a four part issue focused on web accessibility. The topics covered include legal obligations, cultivation and maintenance of expertise, training for distance learning personnel, and case studies in training and professional development.

The Department of Justice is making Internet Accessibility a priority   

 

Links to Additional Resources

AccessIT
This site from the National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education features an Accessible University Mock Site which includes a companion guide to present problems and solutions.

DO-IT
This site is from the University of Washington. It offers information on Technology and Universal Design in addition to looking specifically at web site design.

WAI - Web Accessibility Initiative
This is the site for the W3C page on the Web Accessibility Initiative. W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium and it is where accessibility guidelines are set. There is a lot of information available from this site.

WebAim
This site has lots of great information as well as links to free downloadable toolbars for either Internet Explorer or Firefox that help designers test sites for accessibility.