Office of Accessibility Resources & Services

provide. coordinate. advocate.

Especially for Online Faculty

Introduction

A common question that is often asked by faculty, staff, and students is: What is accessibility? Accessibility is an issue that is relevant to all people, not just for those with a disability. The idea of striving for accessibility is a fundamental component to concept of Universal Design. Essentially, accessibility is taking an active approach to create a fully inclusive world where people with visual, cognitive, physical, and auditory disabilities can have equal access. Understanding, using, and planning for accessibility is a gradual journey, but if fully realized, would allow for endless possibilities and opportunities. For society to continue to grow towards the development of attaining accessibility within the model of Universal Design, there are changes that must be met and a proactive approach that must be taken! A proactive stance will involve educating oneself with knowledge of laws for accessibility, creating accessible content, and making the accessible content readily available.

Definition of accessibility: * See Above

Section 508 (short version): In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The law (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others.

Source: Section 508

Why it is important to make web content accessible:

  1. It promotes a culture of accessibility and inclusion; An accessible web means creating equal access and opportunity for all people.
  2. It’s the law; There are many federal and state laws which make it a requirement for institutions to make their electronic and web content accessible to people with disabilities
  3. It’s better for society; Web accessibility benefits society as a whole by allowing more people to be actively involved, contributing their ideas and point of views.
  4. It makes sense financially; It is less expensive to build an accessible, standards-compliant website at the start, rather than going back and building it from the ground up.
  5. It’s better for business; Accessible website that utilize web standards are more likely to attract a wider audience of potential customers.

Links to UNCG web accessibility policy: Internet Oversight Committee

Links to subsections: Internet Oversight Committee subsections

Contact information

Name: Sandra Suarez Astbury
Position: Policy Administrator
Email: its_policy@uncg.edu