Technology Basics for Disability Services Staff March 20, 2006 Athens, Georgia
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • All public or private institutions receiving federal funding, must make programs and services accessible for individuals with disabilities. • Enforcing agency: Office for Civil Rights (OCR) • OCR has ruled … • Not whether student with disability is provided access, but extent that communication is actually as effective as that provided to others. • In favor of making information technology (IT) accessible for students with disabilities.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 • Passed 1990 before Internet. • Disability if meet one of three-part definition. • Title II “Effective communication” applies to Internet per Department of Justice. www.adabasics.org
IT Terminology • Information Technology (IT) • Any technology that stores or processes information. • Hardware and software • Internet pages, PDF files, Office documents • Copiers • Faxes • Voice mail
IT Terminology • Assistive Technology (AT) Assists a person with a disability in performing a task that most people can do without such technology. For more information on AT and disability-related resources, visit the National Public Website on Assistive Technology: www.assistivetech.net
Common AT for Computer Access • Voice Activated Software • Trackballs and Touch Pads
Common AT for Computer Access • Magnification and CCTV • Braille Display/Refreshable • Screenreaders
IT Terminology • Universal Design (UD) Design of products, environments, and communications to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without need for adaptation or specialized design. • AKA: Design for All, Inclusive Design, Lifespan Design
IT Terminology • Usability Efficiency with which a user can perform required tasks with a product, for example, a website. Usability can be measured objectively via performance errors and productivity, and subjectively via user preferences and interface characteristics.
UD to Accessibility and Usability • Built-in design that makes the learning goals achievable by individuals with wide differences in their abilities to see, hear, speak, move, read, write, understand English, attend, organize, engage, and remember.” • Source: Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
IT Terminology • Accessible Information Technology • Compatible with assistive technology and may include flexible features that allow users with disabilities to use assistive technology. • In principle, accessibility means that users are able to interact with the technology in ways that best work for them.
Barriers to Access • Generally occur when I.T.NOT designed to interact withA.T.
IT Terminology • W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) • Group of industry professionals who set standards for Internet use
IT Terminology • WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) • Project of the W3C, which focuses on accessibility of websites.
IT Terminology • WCAG 1.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) (2.0 in Development) • Guidelines for website accessibility, developed by the W3C and WAI. • Uses “Priority One”, “Priority Two”, and “Priority Three” standards.
IT Terminology • Section 508 • Part of Vocational Rehabilitation Act • The U.S. Access Board adopted the Section 508 standards in 2001. • Federal departments must: • Accommodate employees with disabilities. • Design accessible websites. • Procure accessible information technology.
IT Terminology • Hypertext • Most Web sites utilize hypertext, which includes text links to other pages.
IT Terminology • HTML (HyperText Markup Language) • The language in which most web pages are written. Web browsers use this code to display pages.
IT Terminology • Markup or Code • Other names for HTML, designed to confuse people.
IT Terminology • Tags • create “behind the scenes” framework and identify elements • i.e. headings, lists, links, paragraphs
Framework <Tags> of HTML Webpage <html> <head> <title>Name for Document</title> </head> <body> Content goes here </body> </html>
IT Terminology • Tables • How most data is displayed on an HTML page. There are two kinds of tables: • Layout tables • Data tables
IT Terminology • Frames • Some pages use multiple HTML documents on one page which appear as “frames”. http://www.hyperorg.com/misc/DoubleTreeShow_files/frame.html
IT Terminology • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) • A CSS file is a set of instructions that tell a browser how to display a given page (in terms of text fonts, colors, etc.) • www.csszengarden.com
IT Terminology • URL (Uniform Resource Locator) • The URL is the address of any given page. • http://www.sedbtac.org/
IT Terminology • Alt-tag (really Alt Attribute) • Alternative text used by screen-readers.
IT Terminology • Skip-nav • Skip-navigation text used by screen readers.
IT Terminology • XML, PHP, Cold Fusion • Software programs that merge databases with HTML to create web pages.
IT Terminology • Courseware • Software products used in distance learning to provide content in a consistent manner. • Blackboard • WebCT
IT Terminology • Multimedia • Any website that uses sound and video.
IT Terminology • Applet • Any software program running within a website, such as Java or Flash.
IT Terminology • Plug-in • Any software program a user needs to download in order to run a file, such as Flash or PDF.
What is the User Experience? • Aoccdrnig to a rscheearchr at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a tatol mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbeslm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh!