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Compiled by Rob Carr, Oklahoma ABLE Tech Accessibility Coordinator
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While the rulemaking process to include technology accessibility standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act continues at a snail's pace, something new is on the horizon. The Accessible Instructional Material in Higher Education (AIM-HE) Act is making its way through the US Congress. The Act has bipartisan support in the House and the search is on for sponsorship in the US Senate. In short, the Act will provide higher education institutions with a voluntary set of technology accessibility standards and a path to "safe harbor" where institutions successfully apply those standards. Groups including EDUCAUSE, the Association of American Publishers and the National Association of the Blind worked to hammer out the Act. Oklahoma ABLE Tech will keep you updated as the Act moves forward.
Wichita State University is among the most recent higher education institutions to reach a settlement agreement that details how the University needs to act so that its technology is accessible to students with disabilities. These settlements keep coming, and each one is an excellent way to learn what institutions should do in order to stop discrimination against students with disabilities when technology is involved. The National Federation of the Blind provides a summary of the settlement agreement.
If you feel as if text is harder to read online now than ever, then you are not alone. Trace some of the history of a difficult design pattern in "How the Web Became Unreadable", from backchannel.com. Then make sure that text that you use in documents and online contrasts well with its background colors.
Working accessibility into the likes of wireframes is a fantastic way to make sure that your end product is accessible. Get a jump start on this by reading about 5 things that you can do to make your wireframes more accessible.
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