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A practical guide for school communicators
Information on websites must be accessible for people with disabilities of all kinds, but unfortunately, some schools fall short in eliminating website barriers. This guide is intended to help you understand website accessibility and break down the barriers to communication for everyone in your school community.
Think of how dependent we've all become on the internet — the phones, tablets, desktops and other devices we rely on to plug into the web 24/7. Now imagine having a disability that prevents you from accessing web content. Maybe you cannot maneuver a mouse or have a vision, auditory or learning issue. A disability should not – and cannot by law – prevent a person with a disability from having the same website experience as someone without a disability.
Besides the legal requirements outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there is a moral mandate to assure your website is accessible. Planning and designing an ADA-compliant site is the right thing to do for the 61 million Americans with disabilities.
If you are involved in managing or planning a school website, you should understand how to assess website accessibility, plan for ADA-compliance, design a compliant website, and keep it compliant so that it stays fully accessible for everyone.
Learn the common website barriers people with disabilities face, why a website needs to be ADA-compliant, how barriers are brought to light, and how to handle – and prevent – complaints about when your website may not meet legal requirements.
Find out what makes a website accessible, what standards are used to measure compliance, just who determines accessibility and how to audit your school website.
The path to school website accessibility requires being strategic, using the right tools, and putting in place a foundation of ADA-compliance and website accessibility and a continuous program of eliminating barriers to website content.
An accessible website doesn't have to sacrifice great design. In fact, it cannot. Learn how design that's good for those with disabilities also happens to be good for those without and how to keep pace with advancing web technologies.
Website accessibility terminology can be confusing to even the most experienced school communicator. Use this collection of common terms and definitions to cut through the jargon and understand the language that surrounds website accessibility.
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