Americans With Disabilities Act, Title II …no qualified individual with a disability shall… be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity…
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 No… individual… shall… be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity…
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 …each Federal department or agency… shall ensure… that the electronic and information technology allows, regardless of the type of medium of the technology– …individuals with disabilities… 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.
Why Should I Care? $$$$$ - Lawsuits $$$ - Grants/funding $$ - Search engine optimization $ - Continued employment
The Current Legal Environment CSU: 4 campuses investigated by OCR; 2 settlements so far… CSUF: $2,000,000 CSUSB: $18,000,000 UC: 2 campuses (UCD/UCB) are being investigated; outcome pending…
Wayne Dick on the Investigations Usually availability of text books triggers a complaint. When the OCR arrives they look at all instructional and educational support IT: paper, Web, registration software.. anything a student needs to function on the campus. The primary finding is that we must provide "Equally Effective Access". That means equal timeliness and quality of all IT in the preferred perceptual mode of every student with a disability.
Wayne Dick on the Investigations Specifically: If a resource is available 24/7 anywhere then it must be available 24/7 anywhere for students with disabilities. Books should be available at the same time for everyone. The material must be fully equal in quality regarding perception and operation. Meaning should not be distorted by modal transformations, and the data structures used to transmit the information must meet the exact needs of the student.
Wayne Dick on the Investigations The settlement really runs up if your campus has architectural barriers. The Office for Civil Rights may start with IT, but they inspect everything. Modifications of buildings is really expensive. The underlying threat is that the OCR will sue joined by the NSF, NIT, Department of Education and any other federal funding resources as co-plaintiffs. I am not aware of any university that has taken the risk. Failure in such a suit would be a death sentence for campus research.
So Where Do I Start? 1.Dont wait until you understand everything to start. 2.HTML/XHTML validate. 3.Use alt. 4.And title and label and summary and caption, etc. 5.And tabindex and accesskey, etc.
So Where Do I Start? 6.Use appropriate link text. 7.Use h1 – h6. 8.Dont emulate other HTML elements (e.g. button, ul). 9.Use CSS for spacing and formatting (versus images). 10.Use automated accessibility tools.
So Where Do I Start? 11.Dont limit yourself to screen readers. 12.Provide alternate content. 13.Be conscientious with dynamic content changes. 14. 15.
Resources CSU law suits - Professor Wayne Dick (firstname.lastname@example.org)email@example.com UCOP web accessibility site (http://www.ucop.edu/irc/itaccessibility/)http://www.ucop.edu/irc/itaccessibility/ CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (http://www.calstate.edu/accessibility/weba ccessibility/)http://www.calstate.edu/accessibility/weba ccessibility/ Dept of Education, Office of Civil Rights (http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/)http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/