Websites, Electronic Documents, and Assistive Technology
Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) makes accessing electronic communications and equipment available to individuals with disabilities. Federal agencies are obligated under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to design websites and develop electronic documents so they meet minimum standards to ensure they are accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities. Section 508 is enforced by the US Access Board. Currently Section 508 requirements only apply to Federal agencies unless they are adopted by a state or local government. (State and local governments are covered under Title II of the ADA.)
Title III of the ADA prevents discrimination on the basis of disability by places of public accommodation (businesses that are open to the public). Currently WCAG 2.0 guidelines are not a requirement of DOJ for Title III entities using the web. Title III entities are, however, obligated to provide access to their goods and services by individuals with disabilities. That includes access to Title III entity websites which must be accessible.
Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform or improve functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies.
Below are links to materials and information on accessible websites, electronic document accessibility and assistive technology.
AbleData - Tools and Technologies to Enhance Life - Database for unbiased, comprehensive information on products, solutions and resources to improve productivity and ease life’s tasks.
Accessible Documents: Providing Information in Alternative Formats 2018 - Western University This guide concentrates on those formats that complement conventional print and video products. Although it provides suggestions, the guide is not meant to be the definitive word on alternative formats
National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center The mission of the AT3 Center is to increase access to and acquisition of assistive technologies by individuals with disabilities across the lifespan. Find your state program using the above link.
WebAIM (web accessibility in mind) - Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University The mission of WebAIM is to empower organizations to make their web content accessible to people with disabilities.