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Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Is Your Website Reaching All Your Users?

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Participate and share : Poster


Thursday, December 3, 12:00–1:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Lynn McCormack  
Dr. Luis Perez  

Accessibility is essential for all websites. Together, we'll look at your classroom, school or district website for evidence that your site is reaching the widest audience possible. Learn how to perform a mini website audit using free analysis tools for evaluating accessibility.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Participants should attend this poster presentation with a personal, school, district or other website they would like to review.
Topic: Equity & inclusion
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
Designer
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have access to the technology and connectivity necessary to participate in authentic and engaging learning opportunities.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

For a website to be accessible, it must be able to provide the same information, the same interactions, the same services with substantially equivalent ease of use for all users. Approximately 20% of all users have differences such as visual differences (color blind, low vision or no vision), hearing differences (perfect pitch, deafness or hard of hearing), motor differences (fine motor control, keyboard or switch users, varying response time), or cognitive differences (focus control or working memory). Each of those differences requires accessible technology, thoughtful content considerations, and conscious efforts to provide a usable and accessible website for all users.

Often, the consideration is only given for the direct users of a specific site. For example, a teacher may think, none of my students have a specific difference, so I don’t have to provide that capacity. However, it is not only the students, but any others that may be working with the student, that also need access to the site. The abilities of “other users” cannot be predicted and therefore all user differences must be considered at all times. The 2015 case of the National Federation for the Blind against Seattle Public Schools shows us that not only must the students’ abilities be taken into consideration when developing websites, but parents and teachers abilities must be taken into account as well.

Recent lawsuits from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights have resulted in the following four general outcomes. Organizations must have an accessibility coordinator, have a process for reporting accessibility issues, publish an accessibility policy, and have accessibility audit resulting in the achievement of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA (WCAG 2.1 has been recommended as of 6/5/18). Participants will learn about these four best practices.

In this poster session, participants will use tools to perform a “mini-audit” of their websites. The mini-audit will give participants a sense for the accessibility of their websites. Common accessibility issues found on websites will be explored. A quick start guide for addressing accessibility gaps will be available. Participants will leave with an action plan of best practices for making and keeping their website technology and content accessible.

Sample of Mini-Audit Tools:
WebAIM Wave Tool (http://wave.webaim.org/)
Khan Academy Tota11y (http://khan.github.io/tota11y/)
W3C Before and After Demo (https://www.w3.org/WAI/demos/bad/)
The Paciello Group Color Contrast Analyser (https://developer.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/)
Deque Axe Coconut Chrome Addon (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/axe-coconut/iobddmbdndbbbfjopjdgadphaoihpojp?hl=en)

Supporting research

Addressing Accessibility:
WCAG 2.1 at a Glance (https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/glance/)
AEM Overview of Laws Regulations Guidelines (http://aem.cast.org/policies/laws-regulations-guidelines.html)

Accessibility Cases:
NFB vs Seattle Settlement (https://nfb.org/national-federation-blind-applauds-landmark-agreement-seattle-public-schools)
edX Settlement (https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-reaches-settlement-edx-inc-provider-massive-open-online-courses-make-its)
National Organization on Disability: Lawsuits Soar over Inaccessible Websites (https://www.nod.org/lawsuits-soar-over-inaccessible-websites/)

Accessibility Policy and Statement:
AEM Center Website Accessibility Policy (http://aem.cast.org/aem-center/accessibility-policy.html)
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Developing an Accessibility Statement (https://www.w3.org/WAI/planning/statements/)

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Presenters

Photo
Dr. Luis Perez, National AEM Center, CAST

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