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Making Electronic Communications Disability Accessible: Enhancing Usability for Everyone Sally Kuhlenschmidt Association of University Programs in Health.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Electronic Communications Disability Accessible: Enhancing Usability for Everyone Sally Kuhlenschmidt Association of University Programs in Health."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Electronic Communications Disability Accessible: Enhancing Usability for Everyone Sally Kuhlenschmidt Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Nashville, TN June 2003

2 Objectives To provide an overview of implications of ADA for electronic communications To provide guidance on making your electronic communications accessible & increasing usability

3 Pertinent Laws ADA 1990 –1996 DOJ ruled applies to webpages Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of if fed $$, can’t exclude

4 Pertinent Laws Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1986 –requires federal electronic and information technology –to be accessible to people with disabilities, –including employees and members of the public. –Uses W3C guidelines

5 More Laws Section 255 of Telecommunications Act 1996 –requires telecommunications products and services to be accessible to people with disabilities

6 Terms Disability –Impairment that substantially limits major life activities –LD, ADHD, vision, motor, etc. –1 in 10 college students

7 Terms Accommodation –Providing an equivalent experience that isn’t an undue burden. –You don’t get to decide what “undue” is. –We know what the courts are “buying” Level 1 of W3C at least. Thoughtfulness– moving target. –Build in or “retrofit”.

8 Terms Usability –The effectiveness with which any person can use your electronic communications. –Good design & universal. –Considerable overlap with accommodation

9 Electronic Communications All required components of any course or university service, e.g., –Audio, video, multimedia, text –Webpages whether yours or not – –Forms, e.g., chat, discussion boards –Satellite, ITV –Software, CD Roms, DVD, tapes, –Etc.

10 Why accommodate now? Technically, can wait until requested Problem: technology requires large amounts of time to retrofit Better to start now building in the basics (easiest) or retrofitting to save stress later Better to consider when buying software, etc. And it’s simply good design.

11 Examples Use videos or Javascript? Need transcripts Using images? Need descriptors on each one. Teachers: start now, or try to do it during the term at a pace to give the disabled student an equivalent experience. Service Units: start now

12 List Your electronic communications that are required/necessary for your audience. – –Webpages or activities (e.g., chat) Not just your own webpages Prioritize– most essential. Alternatives

13 Principles of Accommodation Accommodation depends on –Specific person w/disability –The task to be accomplished –The available technology Knowing the range of disabilities to consider, helps –Sensory…motor…psychological …combinations

14 Principles of Accommodation Equivalency of experience. –Can’t drop the requirement just for the disabled person. –Could substitute. –Unlike public school, don’t have to help disabled “be the best they can be.”

15 Principles of Accommodation Since technology changes, including assistive technology, Necessary accommodations will change. Be Thoughtful

16 Principles of Accommodation Many accommodations are conceptual, e.g., Laying out navigation for a blind person Describing an image Technology may be a solution, not just a problem

17 Principles of Accommodation It is easier to build in than to retrofit. E.g., a lab When planning, have an accommodation consideration phase/checkbox

18 Principles of Accommodation Consider maintenance of the accommodation when planning –2 websites: Flash plus text only… versus –1 text website

19 Principles of Accommodation Consider the nature of the task –A method may be adequate for a short, simple, less critical task (e.g., alt tag descriptor; TDD phone for question from deaf) –But not adequate for a longer, more complex, more critical task (e.g., text of an interactive video? TDD for class discussion?)

20 Principles to Practice

21 Web Site Design Imagine how your page –Sounds through a speech synthesizer –Feels like in Braille –Looks like in super large font Imagine navigating it –by voice –or keyboard

22 Usability Classic design principles –Central web page with overview Consistent structure List/headings Headlines as text, not images –Cascading Style Sheets separates display from the information

23 Usability: Color Want High Contrast in colors Black text on white Color Blindness? Avoid combinations –red green, –blue-yellow Avoid color coding information

24 Favor frames over tables –Label frames with name/title attributes Favor html over PDF, doc Image Maps: use Client Side maps and text for hotspots

25 Provide Descriptions Images: ‘Alt’ tag or long description Links: meaningful –not “link here” but “CNN newsroom” Tables: Headers Graphs and charts: summary text Audio/video content: captions/transcripts

26 Web Site Design Avoid –Scripts, applets, or plug-ins or provide alternates. –Animated images –Multi-column tables line by line reading must be sensible summarize

27 Distance Learning Chat rooms –challenge to follow Reflect before doing –Opportunity if designed for accessibility –Obstacle if not Blackboard/WebCT

28 Tutorial National Center on Low Incidence Disabilities: Creating Accessible Websites - eDesign/

29 Checklist W3C Guidelines WEBCONTENT/wai- pageauth.html#toc

30 Validate Accessibility –http://cast.org/bobby/ HTML usage –http://validator.w3.org/

31 Homework Go home Remove your mouse Navigate your website Make modifications

32 Summary Plan for Accessibility Describe what you are doing –in Person –on a WebSite Follow-up with external checks Profit from accessible communications

33 Bottom Line The technology shouldn’t get in the way of any person participating…that requires us to be thoughtful.

34 More Information This presentation on the Web ~kuhlenschmidt/access/ Thank you!

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