How All Students Can Participate in Internet Research and Distance Education

  • Find a detailed checklist for education technology accessibility at Education Based Information Technology. Also at this web address is a kit entitled Breaking Down Barriers: K-12 and Beyond. It is a resource on making technology in schools accessible.
    The kit, available free of charge to schools, includes a printed information booklet, a CD with video materials and resource links, and a poster depicting examples of accessible information technology. The CD has information for teachers, school technology coordinators, administrators, and students.
    The kit provides guidance about making videos accessible, ensuring that students with disabilities can navigate Web sites and electronic textbooks, and offering accessible distance education courses. This can be obtained from the above Web site or by calling 800-949-4232 (voice/TTY)
  • Recently enacted legislation, the Instructional Materials Accessibility Act (IMAA) of 2002, provided some voluntary standards for digitizing text, including some systems for collection and dissemination of materials in standardized formats: Braille, synthesized speech, digitized audio, and large print. The legislation also provides guidance for standard electronic format for access of school textbooks. The IMAA has also provided funds to start a national materials repository of digital materials. See the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard Report
  • Technical assistance is also available through ten regional ADA & IT Technical Assistance Centers (800-949-4232) or at ADA Technical Assistance Program. These Centers provide information, training, and technical assistance to schools, employers, and people with disabilities. Each center works closely with local schools, businesses, disability, governmental, rehabilitation, and other professional networks to provide ADA information and assistance—including information on technology accessibility. Programs vary in each region, but all centers provide the following: Technical AssistanceEducation and TrainingMaterials DisseminationInformation and ReferralPublic Awareness.
  • AccessIT at the University of Washington, Seattle, provides technical assistance and promotes the use of electronic and information technology for students and employees with disabilities in educational institutions at all academic levels. The Web site has many resources, including a searchable database, articles on promising technology practices, and FAQs. 866-968-2223 (Toll Free Voice) 866-866-0162 (Toll Free TTY)
  • World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative provides guidance on web site accessibility.
  • IBM's Accessibility Center provides a checklist of accessibility feature for designing or evaluating the accessibility of a web page.
  • Technical Assistance Project lends equipment and provides loans to purchase AT.

Christine Mason
Richard Dodds