It 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Links to Additional Resources
WAI - Web Accessibility Initiative