This quick read from EDUCAUSE provides essential information on accessibility, including potential implications and opportunities.
It covers the following questions as applied to Information Technology (IT) accessibility:
- What is it?
- How does it work?
- Who's doing it?
- Why is it significant?
- What are the downsides?
- Where is it going?
- What are the implications for higher education?
IT accessibility is the ongoing process by which an organization ensures its current and future IT can be used effectively by everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Higher education has ethical and legal obligations to ensure that programs and services are accessible to all learners and employees, and as IT plays an increasingly integral role in higher education, whether IT is accessible can have a major impact on student success. Accessible IT works by complying with accessibility standards, enabling users with disabilities to fully participate. The need to ensure accessible IT has resulted in a greater focus on universal design--the process of designing a product, service, course, or environment in a way that works well for a broad spectrum of users.
You can download the full PDF or ePub document from the Educause Web Site.
EDUCAUSE has published a "7 things" series for several years, both as a general publication on campus-wide Information Technology (IT) and a more focused publication on learning technologies. The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group published this issue in the series on IT accessibility. Terrill Thompson was the main editor of the document. Group members from many institutions contributed, including one from UMD's department of ITSS.