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Compiled by Rob Carr, Oklahoma ABLE Tech Accessibility Coordinator
2017 is poised to be a productive year at the state level. Now that the refresh of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is all but final, Oklahoma's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility (EITA) Advisory Council is putting together a task force to look at the current EITA Rules and update them to reflect changes to Section 508. In the end the goal is to harmonize our own state standards with the standards that Section 508 puts in place. At the same time, the task force will work to make sure that the new Rule is tailored to Oklahoma's needs.
With funding from the Southwest ADA Center in Houston, Oklahoma ABLE Tech continues its work in Oklahoma higher education by working with 5 institutions. This work focuses on expanding existing technology accessibility efforts on campuses and gives us an opportunity to work much more closely with each institution.
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and Oklahoma ABLE Tech continue to work with various partners that make up the state's Workforce System. Under the umbrella of Access for All, our partnership seeks to remove barriers that job seekers face as they try to use services provided by the Workforce System. As with Oklahoma ABLE Tech's higher education work, the goal is to help to make accessible technology an integrated part of the Partners' technology work.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech is also expanding its work with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to include some training around accessible content authoring.
On the national level, Oklahoma ABLE Tech will continue to produce instructional videos about accessible technology. The next series of videos will be brief, focused tutorials on using Acrobat Pro to make PDF content more accessible. ABLE Tech created several longer videos for the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs.
All of this is in addition to Oklahoma ABLE Tech's work around the state providing training and technical assistance to agencies, institutions and other entities. Look for ABLE Tech at statewide and regional conferences that focus on education, workforce development and technology. And please let us know if you would like to have us provide training at your event!
Here are some things that caught our eye over the last few months...
3Play Media provides a good resource to explain how technology fits under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ever wonder what an automated accessibility checker checks for? Google has published its Accessibility Developer Tools' Wiki so you can see what it looks for.
The Paciello Group's David Sloan highlights some of the benefits of making your UX research and usability studies inclusive of people with disabilities. This is another fine example of inclusive design thinking in action!
What happens when you find a product that is not as accessible as it should be, but it is the right one for the business needs? Consider using something like the Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan that the California State University system uses. This document helps you to plan and record the ways that you can provide equivalent access to a piece of technology that presents barriers to people with disabilities.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
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