Websites must be accessible to all potential users: those who are disabled, dial-up users, and people using all types of computers, browsers and operating systems. Blackboard’s basic structure is compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines, but as we use more multimedia in web classes, we must be aware of the barriers some people may have to accessing the instruction.
The TLRC is in the process of implementing web technologies that help enable all users to access our instruction. We can test a class using JAWS, the program that uses a voice to read a website for the visually impaired; add closed-captioning with video or audio recordings for the hearing impaired; and present content in multiple media formats for dial-up to the faster broadband connections.
Currently Section 508 ADA web standards are not required of educational web courses, but we must begin to follow these policies for the future.