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The Accessible Virtual Campus

Information Technology

An illustration representing the information technology resources section of the website.

Every day campuses become more and more dependent on information technology. Technically, it includes resources related to computer workstations in labs, electronic device-based instruction such as clickers or pod-casting, computer mediated media, distance education, file servers, student data management, web accessibility and assistive technology. However, most information technology services on campuses tend to focus on servers, email, websites, general computer learning labs, and other data heavy management activities. 

Information technology directly related to instruction is often relegated to more academic support services or as a special unit within campus information technology. On this site, the instructional technology resources mostly reside in the specific academic areas. One can also check in Classrooms & Learning if you do not find answers in this section. Also, see the Instructional Methods and Media & Materials pages for tips to help you create universally designed instructional materials. 

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In-line EqTD AUDIT

This is the AUDIT to use to evaluate the accessibility of in-line text characters that need to be treated as graphic elements for accessibility e.g. subscript, ampersand, foreign letters.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

In-line EqTD AUDIT  (Excel Document)

In-line EqTD AUDIT Manual (Version 1.3)  (PDF File)

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Creating an Accessible Tri-fold Brochure

If you are using “Adobe InDesign Creative Suite 2” and “Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional” this document will teach you how make accessible brochures.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Creating an Accessible Tri-fold Brochure  (PDF File)

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EqTD AUDIT

Use this AUDIT to evaluate the accessibility and usability of non-text graphics in a variety of media.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

EqTD AUDIT  (Excel Document)

EqTD Manual  (PDF File)

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Font Size for Accessible Media in the Classroom

These two Power Point slides provide a guideline to insure that the font size within print media are accessible when projected.

ACCESS-ed Project, R2D2 Center

How to Determine Font Size for Accessible Media  (PowerPoint Presentation)

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Procurement for Accessible Goods & Materials

This posterette about procurement describes recommended steps to ensure maximum accessibility when acquiring goods and materials- custom or "off the shelf".

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Goods and Materials Procurement  (PDF File)

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Thesis/Project and Dissertation Accessibility Protocol

This protocol explains the required "why" and "how" of creating an accessible thesis/document. Graduate students in the Occupational Therapy Department at UWM are required to provide an accessible copy of their thesis, project or dissertation. The protocol is distributed in conjunction with a formatted template that includes all of the requirements of the graduate school at UWM.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Thesis/Project & Dissertation Protocol  (PDF File)

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Video Closed Captioning Protocol

This protocol will help you to create a video with a caption track. Videos captioned with this method will be playable by older versions of QuickTime, back to QuickTime 3 (depending on video and audio code used).

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Video Closed Captioning Protocol  (PDF File)

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Video Descriptive Track Protocol (Draft)

This protocol will help you create a video with an additional audio track that attempts to describe the visual component of the video. Note that the file created from this document will always have the additional track playing. We are currently examining the possibility of adding a toggle button.

Video Descriptive Track Protocol (Draft)  (PDF File)

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Writing Equivalent Text Descriptions (EqTDs) Posterette

This short 2-page document provides the essential "bare-bones" of what needs to be included in an equivalent text description (EqTD) and where the EqTD should be placed in a document. Whenever you create a document, whether it is electronic or paper, any non-text based element (e.g., picture, graph, "eye-candy") is not accessible to many individuals, so EqTDs should be provided.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Writing EqTD's Posterette  (PDF File)

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8 steps of Institutional Coordination and Reform [Web Accessibility]

This website offers a model organizations can use to evaluate Web pages, develop a planning team, gain support for a Web accessibility initiative, develop and implement a plan, train staff, and monitor the accessibility of Web pages over time. [Annotation from UW Web Accessibility for All]

WebAIM

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A Comparative: Accessibility and Usability

This article explores the differences and similarities between web accessibility, web site usability, and the "grey area" between them.It contains a nice discussion and 10 different scenarios to demonstrate the differences are included. It was written in hopes of shedding more light on this matter, and the article has sparked interesting reader discussions.

Cherim, M - Accessites.org

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Access Symbols

This link provides downloadable access symbols, provided copyright free, for closed captioning, descriptive video, and web access.

WGBH website

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Access Technology Higher Education Network

ATHEN is a professional association and network for Access Technology in Higher Education. The purpose of ATHEN is to collect and disseminate best practices in access technology in the higher education environment as well as present a collective voice for the professional practice of access technology in higher education. The annual conference is Accessing Higher Ground. The website offers information about the conference, as well as a blog and a Listserv.

Access Technology Higher Education Network

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Accessibility and Computer Science Education

This is a link to the PDF report which presents four position statements resulting from a discussion forum on accessibility and computer science education. Panelists discussed reasons to integrate accessibility and universal design into the computer science curriculum. Proceedings of the 37th SIGCSE technical symposium on computer science education.

Rosmaita, J, Deibel, K, Cohen, R & Egan, M

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Accessibility in Microsoft Products

"Make your computer easier and more comfortable to use by taking advantage of the many accessibility features built into Microsoft products." This link is the home page for their accessibility features, links listed by products. There are no Macintosh mentions.

Microsoft

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Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities

This link explains how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is requiring the State and local governments to give individuals with disabilities equal access to their programs. This link also provides the Department of Justice statement "Voluntary Action Plan for Accessible Websites". Links are provided on the website.

US Department of Justice

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Accessible Blogging

So you have a blog, and you're worried that it might not be accessible to people with disabilities? Don't worry! A few simple changes can increase your blog's potential readership. This webpage contains quick tips for bloggers.

CATEA

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Accessible Calculators

This webpage includes an "Assistive Technology Quick Reference" guide to help individuals make calculators more accessible. There are also answers to frequently asked questions regarding standard function calculators, scientific calculators, graphing calculators, and vendors offering accessible calculators.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Accessible Data Tables

This article by Roger Hudson explains how to present data in an accessible table. He includes how to design the table, how to make it friendly to a screen reader, how to create both complex and simple tables, how to test the tables accessibility, and much more.

"Web Usability"

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Accessible Digital Media: Guideline A: Images

This webpage includes guidelines and examples of how to make materials such as digital publications, distance-learning Web sites, and educational software more accessible to students with disabilities.

WGBH Boston

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Accessible Digital Media: Guideline B: Forms

This webpage includes instruction and examples on how to make on-line forms accessible for users who are blind or visually impaired.

WGBH Boston

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Accessible Digital Media: Guideline G: Math

This website includes guidelines for how-to's for making scientific and mathematical expressions accessible for electronic publications, multimedia, and the web.

WGBH National Center for Accessible Media

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Accessible Forms

This website contains brief basics of the why and how to create accessible forms, both electronic and paper. Strategies for form design and layout are also included in this website.

NC State University

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Accessible Tables

This webpage discusses the complexities of tables and how to make them accessible.

Jim Thatcher

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Accessible [Google] Search Engine

This article from Universal Web Design addresses issues surrounding search engines and problems individuals using screen readers face. The author lists common complaints but also provides suggested solutions to the problems various search engines have.

Lanier, G Universal Web Design

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Alt Text Quality Report

This website "educates users in the concepts behind Web site accessibility. It is a free tool for the education community designed to identify errors in Web content related to Section 508 standards and/or the WCAG guidelines for accessibility. It allows users to test individual pages on their Web site and provides feedback in a reporting format that is clear and easy to understand." The company also sells their accessibility and captioning software. An in depth discussion accompanies the software.

HiSoftware Cynthia Says Portal

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An Ocean of Potentiality: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Science Engineering and Mathematics  (Research based)

This is a link to An Ocean of Potentiality: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Science, Engineering and Mathematics. The link contains a series of briefs related to this unique program, supporting youth with disabilities through role modeling, including the perspectives of professionals who had been involved with the program. The program combines mentoring and outdoor adventure activity to encourage interest in STEM careers. The program directors used ingredients for youth empowerment in science, math, engineering and technology to entice interest from students with disabilities, also including: hero building and story-telling, community building and service, cross-cultural sharing, the arts, camping, media, computing, and assistive technology.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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Association of Assistive Technology Act Projects

This website is about the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs funded under AT act to enhance the effectiveness and support of AT programs.

Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP)

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Beyond ALT Text: Making the Web Easy to Use for Users with Disabilities  (Research based)

On this website, one can find a 2001 pdf document, with design guidelines for websites based on usability studies with people using assistive technology. The author qualifies (post 2001) that progress with assistive technology for blind readers has been slow, and "that some of the specific technical comments in this report may not apply to recent versions of the products discussed".

Nielsen Norman Group

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Camera for K

"Camera for K is a photographic interface that maximizes independency of physically handicapped people who use wheelchair and cannot operate the interface of normal cameras. Any switches familiar to them can be attached to this interface so that they easily start to use."

YoungHyun Chung, Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York University

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CAST Learning Tools

This website provides links to free learning tools for students, teachers and parents.

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Color

This website is everything you would want to know about color and accessibility. While this page was prepared for web accessibility, these issues also are relevant for print, poster, Power Point, etc. materials.

University of Minnesota Duluth

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Computer Labs

This website provides general guidelines to survey the physical accessibility of a computer lab. Some examples of guidelines are physical space, printed materials, and electronic resources.

Washington University DO-IT

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Computer Workstations (Computer Access Series)

This webpage includes an "AT Quick Reference" guide to help individuals make their computer workstations more accessible. There are also answers to frequently asked questions regarding accessible computer workstations.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Creating Accessible Forms - General Form Accessibility

"When we talk about the accessibility of forms, we are usually referring to their accessibility to people who use screen readers. People with other types of disabilities are generally less affected by faulty forms. It should be noted, however, that everyone benefits from a well-organized, highly usable form, especially those with cognitive disabilities." This website contains comprehensive how-tos.

Web Accessibility in Mind

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Creating Video and Multimedia Products That Are Accessible to People with Sensory Impairments

This website provides rationale, guidelines, and web links to assure that multimedia content is accessible for students with hearing or vision impairments. This website provides types of captioning and access for people that are blind.

Washington University DO-IT

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Described and Captioned Media Program

The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) serves as a clearinghouse of information and materials on the subject of description and captioning for service to consumers, agencies, corporations, and schools. Clearinghouse offerings include numerous DCMP print and online informational resources as well as a gateway to accessibility information from the Web sites of the DCMP and its collaborators.

Caption Max & National Association for the Deaf

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Designing More Usable Web Sites

This website is for making websites accessible, includes multimedia and virtual reality. It provides information on browsers with built-in voice or other access features. Also it provides a link to a video that demonstrates how screen readers assist the blind. There are many links to other related projects.

TRACE Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Disabled web users rank their usability priorities

Results of a survey of a cross section of 208 internet users throughout the UK with disabilities which affect the way they use the internet, comprising the visually impaired/blind, hearing impaired/deaf, physically disabled, and those with dyslexia/learning difficulties. Top 5 ANNOYANCES for users and top 5 most useful features are reported in this one-page article from OUT-LAW News.

OUT-LAW.com

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Effective Color Contrast

This web page includes 3 general guidelines for making effective color choices that work for everyone when designing.

Lighthouse International

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Effective Practices for Description of Science Content within Digital Talking Book Project

"This project is researching and documenting effective practices for providing meaningful descriptions of science content within Digital Talking Books that serve post-secondary students, professionals and scientists who have visual impairments or blindness. A particular focus is ways to describe non-text content, such as equations, charts, and diagrams." [Annotation from CATEA resource page]

National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

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Five kinds of ‘alt’ text

This discussion of alt-text, on the website of a London-based usability consulting and usability training company, offers that there are five different classes of "alt" text. Each of 5 different types of images requires a different approach to writing the ‘alt’ attribute. Some comments were solicited (from February - April 2011) and can be reviewed, however the "comments section" is now closed to further input.

Userfocus, London, UK

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GRADE Project

"GRADE's mission is to improve the accessiblity of distance education through for students with disabilities throughout the nation by providing technical assistance, training and research. This website includes a tutorial, course design models, fact sheets, guidelines, and more.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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How Blind People See the Internet

A well written article for anyone interested in the experience of blind web consumers. The article is on a web page housed by GIZMODO, a website rich with information, reviews and commentary regarding new technologies and other news regarding several related topics of design and development.

John Herrman, GIZMODO

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Inclusive Technology Glossary

This website provides a glossary of terms for different inclusive technology and a brief description about them.

SNOW

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Integrating Accessible Design into the Educational Web Design Process

This is a comprehensive discussion on the need for accessibe web design. This article defines accessibility and usability, states the accessibility standards, and discusses the importance of accessibility. It also provides examples of ways to achieve accessible web design for a variety of impairments.

Foley, A - from Meridian, a middle school computer technologies journal

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ISO/IEC JTC 1 Special Working Group drafts: Information Technology - Accessibility Considerations for People with Disabilities

The ISO/IEC JTC (International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission; Joint Technical Committee) Special Working Group (SWG) on Accessibility was established in 2004 and actioned to determine an approach, and implement, the gathering of user requirements, being mindful of the varied and unique opportunities (direct participation of user organizations, workshops, liaisons); identify a mechanism to work proactively to make forward progress; gather and publish an inventory of all known accessibility standards efforts; identify areas/technologies where voluntary standards are not being addressed and suggest an appropriate body to consider the new work; track public laws, policies/measures and guidelines to ensure the necessary standards are available; and through wide dissemination of the SWG materials, encourage the use of globally relevant voluntary standard.These 3 drafts were issued by the group, in 2008.

British Standards Institution 2011

(1) Accessibility Considerations - User Needs Summary  (PDF File)

(2) Accessibility Considerations - Standards Inventory  (PDF File)

(3) Accessibility Considerations - Guidance on User Needs Mappin  (PDF File)

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IT Mentoring Programs

This website defines mentoring and includes mentoring programs and examples for IT professionals and instructors in higher education. The EDUCAUSE website offers 34 resources, including publications, presentations, podcasts, and blogs on this topic.

EDUCAUSE

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Longitudinal Analysis of the Experiences of Students with Disabilities with Postsecondary Support Service Systems: Characteristics of Effective Support Systems  (Research based)

This research study is a longitudinal analysis. It contains information on how to identitfy effective components of support services in relation to student outcomes.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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Making IT Communications Accessible

This hour long webinar, originally provided in April of 2011, covers a wide breadth of topics and is easy to follow for people who are not Information Technology experts. Topics include Legal Environment, User Perspective, Document and Web Accessibility, Multi-media - Captions & Transcripts, and Testing for Accessibility. Though the content and slides are very good, the Webinar is not fully accessible with captioning or a transcript.

Gabriel Merrell, Oregon State University

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MathPlayer

"Design Science MathPlayer enables Microsoft Internet Explorer to display mathematical notation in web pages. It is based on MathML technology and requires Internet Explorer for Windows version 6.0 and later. We make MathPlayer available for free in order to foster the adoption of MathML in the math, science, and education communities." Information on how to use the program and a user manual are provided.

Design Science

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National Survey: Assistive Technology Supports  (Research based)

A National Survey was conducted to answer the question, "what is the availability and capacity to offer various forms of assistive technology for students with disabilities in postsecondary education programs?" A brief outline of the methods, key findings, and implications are presented.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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National Survey: Outreach of Supports to the Community  (Research based)

"A national survey was conducted which provides important information for researchers and program implementers seeking to ascertain the current status of educational support offerings in postsecondary programs." A brief description of the research findings are presented.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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National Survey: Transfer of Supports to the Workplace

"A national survey was conducted which provides crucial information for researchers seeking to ascertain the current status of educational supports offered in postsecondary programs and the transfer of those supports to subsequent work settings." This 2 page brief presents the research findings.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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National Survey: Types of Disability Receiving Supports in Postsecondary Settings  (Research based)

This link contains "a national survey was conducted to provide information about the current status of educational supports in postsecondary programs. Further, it [sic] not clear what types of disabilities are represented in postsecondary education settings."

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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NCAM/Media Access Generator (MAGpie)

This webpage provides a list of free software authoring tools for making multimedia accessible to persons with disabilities. Guidelines, standards, and recommendations for accessible web and multimedia, as well as specific media rich examples are listed.

National Center for Accessible Media

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NCAM/Web Access Symbol

The CPB/WGBH has designed a web access symbol which is an illustration of a globe, marked with a grid, tilted at an angle. A keyhole is cut into its surface. "This web image may be used by webmasters to denote that their site contains accessibility features to accomodate the needs of disabled users."

WGBH Boston

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Real Connections: Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone

"This video presentation provides guidelines for designing Internet-based distance learning courses to fully include all students and instructors, including those with disabilities." 11:55 minutes.

University of Washington, DO-IT

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Sticky Keys

This accessibility tutorial for Windows XP explains that "StickyKeys is an accessibility feature designed for people who have difficulty holding down two or more keys at a time."

Microsoft

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The National Survey of Educational Support Provision to Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education Settings: A Replication Study  (Research based)

This link contains three pdf documents are available here from this national replication study of supports for students with disabilities in postsecondary education, including the proposal, findings, and implications.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies

Funded since 2001, the Wireless RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center) researches issues and solutions related to the accessibility and usability of mobile wireless products and services by people with disabilities.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

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Topical Review - Trends in Distance Education: Implications for Improving Access and Outcome for Individuals with Disabilities in Postsecondary Programs  (Research based)

"Do the increased opportunities in distance education programs and advanced technology indicate better access and better outcomes in higher education for people with disabilities?" Key findings and implications are discussed in this article.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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Topical Review-Facilitating Information Access for Postsecondary Students with Visual Impairments Who Use Braille: Issues and Promising Practices  (Research based)

"This article provides an overview of problem of accessing information for postsecondary students with visual impairments. It examines the promise of current and future technologies in providing postsecondary students with visual impairments with 'virtual, real-time' access to information, particularly Braille."

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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Topics: User Science - Accessibility

The journal, from the UK, explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices. This page links you to 45 articles about web accessibility.

A List Apart

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Understanding Section 508 and Web Accessibility

An excellent slide presentation considering WCAG 1.0, Section 508, and WCAG 2.0 Guidelines for web accessibility.

webAIM

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Universal Design in Education: An Online Tutorial

This web page poses questions that link to a separate web page with the answers and more information about universal design in education or aspects related to education like Student Services, Information Technology, Distance Learning, K-12, Post-secondary, Class Projects, Professional Organizations, Projects, and Conference Exhibits and Presentations.

The Center for Universal Design at The University of Washington

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Universal design in education: Principles and applications

This pdf provides a brief history of the concept of Universal Design and concisely describes each of the seven principles of Universal Design and gives an example as well. It provides “examples of universal design applications in educational settings: physical spaces, information technology (IT), instruction, and student services.”

Burgstahler, S. DO-IT

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Universal Design of Computer Labs

Detailed checklists for planning and developing universally designed computer laboratories.

Burgstahler, S. DO-IT, University of Washington

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Universal Design: Implications for Computing Education

This article summarizes the history and development of Universal Design (UD), references research and practices that support the UD approach, provides examples of the strategies that apply UD to instruction and assessment, and recommends topics for future research. Although the application of UD to teaching and learning is in its infancy, the potential of UD to improve computing instruction should not be ignored. Further research could test the efficacy of specific UD practices in promoting learning in computing fields.

Sheryl Burgstahler, University of Washington, Seattle

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UW Madison Web Accessibility Checklist and Resources

Guidelines for Section 508 requirements. Section 508 "requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public." Examples and instructive how-to's for all items.

Bundy, B & Dugdale, T

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Web Design References: Accessibility

A list of links regarding several topics in web design accessibility.

To be effective, the interfaces for online information systems must be as rich and flexible as the physical environments they replace. They must not only supply a direct path to reach the users goals, but must be able to accommodate different approaches to the task. This means that the interface design must not only organize the content for easy access, but must incorporate the right combination of technologies and interaction techniques to allow the user to work in their own style.

University of Minnesota Duluth

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Web Pages

Considers commonly used assistive technology used for www access and a brief test of your understanding of this. Detailed web page suggestions are provided, based on the WAI guidelines and Section 508 standards for web content.

DO-IT, University of Washington

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Website Accessibility

This website provides links, videos and information on how to make websites more accessible and addressing principles of accessible design.

WebAIM

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Recognizing and respecting differences in others, and treating everyone like you want them to treat you, will help make our world a better place for everyone. Care... be your best. You don't have to be handicapped to be different. Everyone is different!

Kimputer, Kim Peek, inspiration for Rain Main