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Digital Inclusion Week 2023: October 3rd

Digital Accessibility is everyone's concern.

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Higher Ed Report on DA

Image of the front page of the 2023 State of Digital Accessibility in Higher Education

How The Blind Use Technology

How Do We Define Digital Accessibility (DA) On Campus?

Defining Ableism

"Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against people with physical or mental disabilities. Ableism characterizes people as they are defined by their disabilities and it also classifies disabled people as people who are inferior to non-disabled people."

Defining Accessibility

Defining Accessibility (DA)

  • Accessibility: A person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability, in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. (Source: Joint Letter US Department of Justice and US Department of Education, June 29, 2010 & CAST)
  • Accessible Educational Technology: The hardware and software that is designed to provide all learners with access to the content in digital materials. Examples of accessible edtech include an application that allows the user to write or verbalize their responses, a mobile phone with an optional zoom display, and a PDF with high color contrast. (Source: CAST)
  • Assistive Technology (AT):  The hardware and software that is designed to address specific barriers learners with disabilities may face when they interact with their materials. Examples of AT include screen readers, adapted daily living devices (e.g., a toothbrush holder), and communication boards. (Source: CAST)
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL): A scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that — (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and (B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient. (Source:  Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008)
  • Source: Office of Educational Technology

What if we asked AI to create like dyslexic thinkers?

Surveying Accessibility

How to be Highly Accessible

Faculty should do the following:

a) Openly advocating for students with disabilities from day one.
b) Designing courses with Universal Design for Instruction in mind.
c) Making sure digital materials are accessible.
d) Utilize any available instructional supports.

Administrators should do the following:

a) Easing the transition from high school.
b) Working to address student needs that are not covered by ADA.
c) Faculty training and course review. 

Differences Between Section 504 and Section 508

"Conformance with Section 508 standards does not require or guarantee that all of an individual's accessibility needs will be met. Section 504 is one way to address these situations. It's helpful to understand the differences between Section 504 and Section 508 when determining agency conformance requirements." 
General Services Administration