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Roles and Responsibly. Who is really responsible for Accessibility?. A Collaborative Project…. ATI…. ATI Mission Statement….

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Roles and responsibly

Roles and Responsibly

Who is really responsible for Accessibility?

Roles and responsibly

A Collaborative Project…


Ati mission statement

ATI Mission Statement…

Our mission is to help provide individuals with disabilities an accessible university environment by supporting access to all technological, architectural, and educational resources available at George Mason University through the incorporation of assistive technologies, the provision of technical support, and the development of university-wide strategies for universal access.

Ati services

Informal AT Assessments

Provision of Accessible Text

Assistive Technology Labs

Section 508 Training/Support

Technical Assistance for Computing and Library Personnel

ATI Services…

Working together

Working Together

  • Disability Services Offices, Faculty, Staff, Students, Volunteers and Public with disabilities

Important considerations during transition

Important ConsiderationsDuring Transition

  • Legal Rights & Responsibilities

  • Strategic Planning

  • Training

  • Campus Resources

  • Advocacy and Support

Roles and responsibly

Different Laws Regarding Disabilities

Roles and responsibly

Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act & 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act

No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/ her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.

A person with a disability is any person who

A person with a disability is any person who

  • Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working;

  • Has a record of such an impairment; or

  • Is regarded as having such an impairment.

Roles and responsibly

Another Law Commonly Forgotten

The Rehabilitation Act 1973, Section 508 Amendment (1998)

Requires that any electronic and information technology (EIT) procured, developed, used or maintained by Federal agencies must be accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

Section 508 was enacted to:

  • eliminate barriers in information technology

  • make available new opportunities for people with disabilities

  • encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.

Roles and responsibly

What is included in Section 508?

…. Electronic and Information Technology

  • 1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems

  • 1194.22 Web-Based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications

  • 1194.23 Telecommunications Products (If it is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) or software then it may also include 1194.21 and/or 1194.22)

  • 1194.24 Video and Multimedia Products (If implemented on the web will also require 1194.22)

Roles and responsibly

  • 1194.25 Self Contained and Closed Products (Ex: Copiers, Fax and Kiosks)

  • 1194.26 Desktop and Portable Computers

  • 1194.31 Functional Performance Criteria (Must be accessible with assistive technology)

  • 1194.41 Information, Documentation and Support (Must also be accessible)

  • **Section 508 only applies to

  • visual, hearing and mobility impairments**

What is accessibility

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product (e.g., device, service, environment) is accessible by as many people as possible. Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" the functionality, and possible benefit, of some system or entity. Accessibility is often used to focus on people with disabilities and their right of access to entities, often through use of assistive technology. Several definitions of accessibility refer directly to access-based individual rights laws and regulations. Products or services designed to meet these regulations are often termed Easy Access or Accessible.

Accessibility solutions

Accessibility Solutions

  • Accommodations

  • Assistive Technology

  • Section 508 – Web Accessibility

  • Universal Design

A depends on the author developer

Q:Who is Really Responsible??

A: Depends on the Author/Developer

This involves Websites, online Documents, Videos both online and played in class, telecommunication, applications both classroom setting and taught applications (for example if a teacher is talking about blogs they need to give options and can’t demand only one product be used if it isn’t accessible.)

What happens if the author developer is external to the university

What happens if the author/developer is external to the University?

  • This can be considered a “trick” question at times due to the numerous variables it has.

    • Does the University or Agency fall under Section 508 or W3C regulations?

    • If not, do changes still need to be made?

Does the university or agency fall under section 508 or w3c regulations

Does the University or agency fall under Section 508 or W3C regulations?

  • If No……….

  • Then the question needs to be asked and worked out with the Office of Disability Services or Equity Office.

  • For example: If there is an individual with a disability involved, is the inaccessible technology considered a requirement to do the work? If the answer is yes- an accommodation may need to be made.

  • All rules and regulations from Section 504 now apply.

Does the university or agency fall under section 508 or w3c regulations1

Does the University or agency fall under Section 508 or W3C regulations?

  • If yes ……………

    • What does the timeline say? Does it overlap?

    • If the product was purchased after regulations were in place then it leads to more questions.

If the product was purchased after regulations were in place then it leads to more questions

If the product was purchased after regulations were in place then it leads to more questions.

  • Is there contract language in place stating that the developer/vendor must meet standards and regulations?

  • Is there policy in place stating new standards and regulations are in place and must be met?

  • If the answer is yes to either or both of these questions then the responsibility lies on the vendor, but how do you get them to make changes?

How do you work with a vendor to make changes to something that doesn t meet compliance

How do you work with a vendor to make changes to something that doesn’t meet compliance?

  • Try contacting the company and asking if they know what accessibility is and compliance standards. (VPAT)

  • Use the line “If you work with us now to make the necessary changes, it will help beat competition later because standards are met.”

  • Work with other Universities, Agencies or like companies and form user groups to keep a list of problems and contact the vendor as a group- Power in Numbers!

Now back to internal responsibility

Now back to internal responsibility

  • Teaching Faculty and Staff

  • Administration Offices

  • IT Professionals

    • Managers

    • Developers

  • Procurement/Purchasing

What could i be responsible for and what role do i play

What could I be responsible for and what role do I play?

  • Websites and content

  • Documents

  • Videos and Multimedia

  • Technology used in the classroom (example: accessible blog, or student option)

  • Kiosks (copy machines, ATM, etc.)



  • President’s Office

  • Provost’s Office

  • Senior Vice President’s Office

  • Deans and Directors

  • President’s Council

  • Admissions and Registrars

  • Human Resources and Payroll

  • University Relations/Policy

  • Fiscal Services

    EVERYONE is involved and ANYONE can be effected!

Administration continued

Administration Continued

Most common barriers:

  • University wide Applications

  • HR paperwork and application

  • University applications and paperwork

  • Procurement/Contract language

  • Overall Higher Administration Support

  • Department/Organizational Websites

Teaching faculty and staff

Teaching Faculty and Staff

  • Do you use a Learning Management System? Do you add content to the course? Are they documents, video, etc.?

  • Do you use technology for your class assignments i.e. blogs, websites, wikis, etc.?

  • Are you the author of a book used in class?

  • Do you use visuals in the classroom that give important information pertaining to the class?

  • Do you use webinars or other classroom capture or conferencing technology?

It professionals

IT Professionals

  • Do you influence or decide on technology purchases?

  • Do you develop websites, applications or documentation?

  • Do you oversee computer classroom settings?

  • Do you manage others who may work on the above mentioned?

  • Do you work in multimedia or telecommunications?

Procurement purchasing


  • Is there compliance language included in contracts?

  • Are vendors required to provide documentation on accessibility? (VPAT)

  • Is there a determination and findings procedure or documentation?

  • Is there an Accessibility Specialist that is included in review of all purchased technology?

Cognitive disabilities

Cognitive Disabilities

Types of cognitive disabilities

Types of Cognitive Disabilities

  • Learning Disabilities


  • TBI

  • Stroke/Seizure

  • Autism

  • Mood Disorders and PSTD

Technologies for cognitive disabilities

Technologies for Cognitive Disabilities

Hearing impairments

Hearing Impairments

Basics hearing impairment

Basics – Hearing Impairment

  • Deafness:

    • is defined by partial or complete hearing loss.

    • Levels of hearing impairment vary from a mild but important loss of sensitivity to a total loss of hearing. Older adults suffer most often from hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss affects 30 to 35 percent of the population between the ages of 65 and 75 years, and 40 percent of the population over the age of 75. Retrieved on June 21, 2007.

Technologies for deaf hoh

Technologies for Deaf/HOH

Mobility impairments

Mobility Impairments

Technology for mobility impairments

Technology for Mobility Impairments

Visual impairments

Visual Impairments

Roles and responsibly

Common Types of Visual Impairments

Macular Degeneration:

:Diabetic Retinopathy

Photos taken from ,

Roles and responsibly

Common Types of Visual Impairments



Photos taken from ,

Roles and responsibly

Color Blindness


the inability to distinguish between some or all colors.

The photograph is divided in two frames, on the left it is passed through the protanopia filter (green-red color blindness), on the right through the tritanopia (blue-yellow color blindness) and around the frames the picture is not filtered.

Common Types of Visual Impairments Retrieved on June 21, 2007. Photo taken from

Technologies for visual impairments

Technologies for Visual Impairments

Web accessibility

Web Accessibility

What is web accessibility

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility means access to the Web by everyone, regardless of disability.Web accessibility includes:

Web sites and applications

  • that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with;

    Web browsers and media players

  • that can be used effectively by people with disabilities, and

  • that work well with assistive technologies that some people with disabilities use to access the Web;

    Web authoring tools, and evolving Web technologies

  • that support production of accessible Web content and Web sites, and

  • that can be used effectively by people with disabilities.

Impacts of the web on disabilities

Impacts of the Web on Disabilities

  • The Web has become a key resource for:

    • classroom education, distance learning,

    • job searching, workplace interaction,

    • civic participation, government services,

    • news, information, commerce, entertainment,

  • It is displacing traditional sources of information and interaction --

    • schools, libraries, print materials, discourse of the workplace;

    • some of the traditional resources were accessible; some not.

  • An accessible Web means unprecedented access to information for people with disabilities.

Problems that may be faced

Problems that may be faced

Examples of design requirements for people with different kinds of disabilities include:

  • Visual:

    • described graphics or video;

    • well marked-up tables or frames;

    • keyboard support, screen reader compatibility;

  • Hearing:

    • captioning for audio, supplemental illustration;

  • Physical, Speech:

    • keyboard or single-switch support;

    • alternatives for speech input on voice portals;

  • Cognitive, Neurological:

    • consistent navigation, tab order, appropriate language level;

    • illustration; no flickering or strobing designs.

Roles and responsibly

Operational Definition of Accessibility

Web sites, software applications, telecommunication, printers, faxes, documentation, video and multimedia and computers are considered accessible when individuals with disabilities can access them and use them as effectively as people who do not have disabilities.

Screen reader Simulation - Experience a screen reader and learn how inaccessible content affects screen reader users.

Low-vision Simulation - View web content as seen by those with several types of vision disabilities. Learn how to design content to best work with screen enlarging software.

Guidebooks and tools

Guidebooks and Tools:

  • Freedom Scientific JAWS: or Dolphin Supernova:

  • AiSquared ZoomText:

  • Accessibility:

  • Usability:

How to ensure accessibility and compliance

How to Ensure Accessibility and Compliance

Trustees, Presidents, Deans, Administration, IT Professionals, and Faculty/Staff

  • Building the accessibility requirements early into the project

  • GSA Buy Accessible Wizard

  • Section 508/Accessibility Trainings

  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

  • Policy or other documentation providing Accessibility requirements.

Roles and responsibly

  • Faculty/Staff, Developers, Webmasters and Content Reviewers

  • Illinois Accessible Web Publishing Wizard for Microsoft Office -

  • Adobe Professional v. 7.0 or higher -

  • NetCentric – CommonLook Section 508 Adobe Plug-In - and PDF Accessibility Wizard (PAW) -

  • 508 Wizard for Visual Basic -

  • DeQue – WorldSpace, Ramp and UnDoc -

  • HiSoftware – AccMonitor Accessibility Module -

  • SSBBartGroup – Accessibility Management Platform -

  • CourseAvenue -

Accessibility examples for developers

Accessibility Examples for Developers

  • The global structure of an accessible HTML document:

  • Accessible Table Builder:

  • Accessible Form Builder:

  • HiSoftware Accessible Form Creator:

  • CSS Information for Accessibility:

  • Example of Accessible HTML Code:

Roles and responsibly

  • Multimedia, Radio and Television Faculty/Staff and Students

  • MAGpie

  • can be used to export the captions to three multimedia formats: Microsoft's Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI) format - external link, RealText - external link for use with RealPlayer, and Apple's QuickTime format - external link. It will also export the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) format - external link, which is a display language used to display captions in Quicktime and RealPlayer. MAGpie also adds functionality to allow audio descriptions and captioning for Macromedia Flash. It can play most media files, not just Windows Media, and is available for both Macintosh and Windows computers.

  • HiCaption

  • provides a development environment that allows users to caption and synchronize captions to content while they listen to or watch their media files. Hi-Caption initially saves the files as Microsoft's SAMI files, but these files can be converted to RealPlayer and Quicktime SMIL files with RealText and Quicktime Text. The file name SAMI stands for Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange and SMIL for the World Wide Web Consortium's Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language

  • Adding more descriptive text into your monologue to not require audio description.

Free web accessibility tools and validators

Free Web Accessibility Tools and Validators

  • Web Accessibility Toolbar:

  • WAVE: (This also comes as a Firefox Extention)

  • Deque WorldSpace:

  • Funcational Accessibility Evaluator (FAE):

  • HiSoftware Cynthia Says:

  • Total Validator:

  • Paciello Group WAT:

  • Web Accessibility Inspector:

Why is web accessibility important

Why is Web Accessibility Important?

There are several reasons why Web accessibility is important:

  • use of the Web has spread into all areas of society;

  • there are barriers on the Web for many types of disabilities;

  • millions of people have disabilities that affect access to the Web;

  • some Web sites are required to be accessible;

  • Web accessibility also has carry-over benefits for other users.

Universal design

Universal Design

Definition of universal design

Definition of Universal Design

The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

Universal design everyone benefits

Universal Design – Everyone Benefits

  • Accessible Web design contributes to better design for other users:

  • Multi-modality (support for visual, auditory, tactile access) benefits users of:

    • mobile phones with small display screens, Web-TV, kiosks.

  • Multi-modality increases usability of Web sites in different situations:

    • low bandwidth (images are slow to download);

    • noisy environments (difficult to hear the audio);

    • screen-glare (difficult to see the screen);

    • driving (eyes and hands are "busy").

  • Redundant text/audio/video can support:

    • different learning styles; low literacy levels; second-language access.

  • Style sheets can support:

    • more efficient page transmission and site maintenance.

  • Captioning of audio files supports:

    • better machine indexing of content; faster searching of content.

Universal design techniques

Universal Design Techniques

Universal design is also about

Universal Design is also about

  • Learning & Teaching Styles

  • Awareness & Attitudes

    • Equitable use

    • Flexibility in use

    • Simple and intuitive

    • Perceptible information

    • Tolerance for error

    • Low physical effort

    • Size and space for approach and use



Q. LAB ACCESS FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS: How can I improve the accessibility of my college lab for a student who uses a wheelchair?

A. Principles of universal design promote access for individuals with a wide range of abilities and disabilities and should be considered when planning and organizing the physical environment. Contact your campus disabled student services office for assistance. Examples of basic universal design guidelines you can readily implement include the following:

  • Make sure all routes to the lab are wheelchair accessible.

  • Keep aisles wide and clear, including evacuation and emergency routes.

  • Place handouts and other documents within reach from a wheelchair. If some materials are inaccessible, provide a means to assist the student.

  • Provide at least one adjustable table or work space.

  • Make sure controls for computers and other equipment can be reached by someone sitting in a wheelchair.

  • See the Science Labs and Computer Labs areas of The Faculty Room for more information about making labs accessible to students with disabilities.

Roles and responsibly


Q. HAND USE: How can a student with limited hand function participate in my science lab?

A. You can structure the activities so that students work with lab partners. Be sure the student with a disability participates actively and is not just an observer. For example, a student could input data into a laptop computer, while her partner carries out the procedure. There are also a variety of ways to adapt lab equipment (e.g., enlarging tool handles, using "grippers") to make it accessible to someone with limited hand function. Using computer controlled lab equipment with alternative input devices (e.g., speech, Morse code, switches) is another possibility. See Science Labs for more information about making science labs more accessible to students with disabilities. Alternatively, if students in the lab don't work in pairs, meet with the student disability services to determine if a lab assistant for the student can be secured. This person might be another student who is a major in the department. The lab assistant, for example, functions as the eyes or hands of the student, but the student must give directions and otherwise follow lab procedures.



Q. How many people are affected by issues of Web accessibility?

A. The percentage of people with disabilities in many populations is between 10% and 20%. Not all disabilities affect access to information technologies such as the Web (for instance, difficulty walking, or a heart condition, would not affect Web access) but many do. Just as with other parts of the population, not all people with disabilities have access to the Web. But the number of people using the Web is steadily increasing, and for people with disabilities access to this technology is sometimes even more critical than for the general population which may have an easier time accessing traditional sources of information such as print media.

Q. What are examples of some common barriers on Web pages?

A. These guidelines address barriers in Web pages which people with physical, visual, hearing, and cognitive/neurological disabilities may encounter. Common accessibility problems on Web sites include: images without alternative text; lack of alternative text for imagemap hot-spots; misleading use of structural elements on pages; uncaptioned audio or undescribed video; lack of alternative information for users who cannot access frames or scripts; tables that are difficult to decipher when linearized; or sites with poor color contrast.



Q. Does it cost more to make a site accessible?

A. Designing a new site to be accessible should not add significantly to development cost. Some aspects of accessibility, such as use of style sheets, can actually reduce the costs of maintaining or updating sites, and this benefit should increase over time as style sheets are more evenly implemented in browsers and available as an authoring strategy in authoring tools. For existing sites, the ease or difficulty of making sites accessible depends on a variety of factors, including the size of a site, the complexity of a site, and the authoring tool that was used to make a site. Periodic upgrades or reviews of sites can be good opportunities to review the accessibility of sites. When compared with the broader audience that a site is available to, and the greater usability for other users as well, accessible sites can be cost-effective.

Q. Can we just make accommodations on an as-requested or ad-hoc basis?

A. No. The courts have held that a public entity violates its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act when it simply relies on responding to individual accommodation requests for compliance with law.



Q. What laws apply to web accessibility?

A. Both state administrative code and federal law require websites to be accessible. A distinction is drawn between pages that are used for instruction and pages that are used for information. Pages that are used for instructional purposes must be accessible under both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Pages that are used, maintained, developed or procured by the University must be accessible under both W3c and Section 508, part of the Rehabilitation Act.

Q. What is the most important thing to understand in terms of making a site accessible?

A. The most important thing to understand in terms of making a site accessible is that people use the Web in very different ways. A site should therefore present information in a way that people can access it regardless of what kind of hardware or software they are using, and regardless of how they navigate through a site. Web designers cannot assume that everyone uses the same kinds of devices the same way.

Assistive technology initiative

Assistive Technology Initiative

Assessments, Student/Faculty with Disabilities, Other: Korey Singleton, ATI Manager, phone: 703-993-2143 or

Web and Software Accessibility and other E&IT: Kara Zirkle, IT Accessibility Coordinator, phone:703-993-9815 or

Alternative Text (electronic, Braille, large print, etc.): Liz Miller, Accessible Text Coordinator, phone: 703-993-4372 or

ATI Office Contact: Nancy Borck, Program Support Specialist, phone: 703-993-4007 or

George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MSN 6A11,

Thompson Hall, Room 114, Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-993-4329 Fax: 703-993-4743 Website:

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