Did you know: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides an outline of legal requirements for accessibility in the development, procurement, maintenance, and use of electronic and information technology? It states that Federal agencies must give comparable access to information to individuals with disabilities as to those without. The law provides that agencies,
“shall ensure, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the department or agency, that the electronic and information technology allows, regardless of the type of
medium of the technology–
(i) individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities; and
(ii) individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal department or agency to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by such members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities.”
In other words, it requires that students and employees have comparable access to information regardless of disabilities. For instance, a video with audio must have accurate closed captions to make the material comparable for a student or employee with a hearing impairment. Likewise, it is essential that documents can be read by a screen reader or have audio available for individuals with a vision impairment.
What is IDT doing to ensure 508 compliance?
- We are constantly working with faculty and staff to provide any and all reasonable assistance and accommodations for persons with disabilities and to make web content more easily accessible for all.
- We are working in connection with Disabilities Services to ensure all multimedia content has a text-alternative and is accurately captioned.
- We are working with instructors to provide audio alternatives to text content in their courses
- We are working to ensure that all text content can be read with the use of assistive technology such as a screen reader
- We are working with departments and instructors to make all documents (Word and PowerPoint) into PDFs for accessibility and to ensure ease of use
- We are working to provide navigation walk-throughs and to make navigation easier to use
- We are constantly working with other devices and technology to ensure compatibility for all users and finding alternatives if necessary
- We are always searching for better ways or strategies to provide accessibility.