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EDU 321: Instructional Technology for Educators: Section 508 Compliance

This guide serves as a resource to help students in EDU 321 complete their research projects and assignments.

Section 508 Compliance

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What is Section 508?

Section 508 is an amendment to the US Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973--a federal law that mandates all federal agencies make their electronic and information technology (such as publications, presentations, software and websites) accessible to people with disabilities. In making documents 508 compliant, these documents and web pages are then accessible to people with disabilities via assistive technologies such as screen or text readers.  For more information about Section 508 and its requirements, please visit the General Services Administration's comprehensive government-wide Section 508 page.

It is important to remember that making documents accessible is more than just a federal guideline agencies are required to follow; it is about providing access to research and information.

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Which materials must be made accessible?

Any document (regardless of the format), website/webpage, or software program that is public-facing must be made accessible.  This would include any document that is posted on a website as well as the website itself.  This means that any documents submitted to the library for the NOAA Institutional Repository or to be included in the library's catalog must be accessible upon submission.  

In addition, any official agency communication is required to be Section 508 accessible.  This would include documents such as:

  1. An emergency notification.
  2. An initial or final decision adjudicating an administrative claim/proceeding.
  3. An internal or external program or policy announcement.
  4. A notice of benefits, program eligibility, employment opportunity, or personnel action.
  5. A formal acknowledgement of receipt.
  6. A survey or questionnaire.
  7. A template or form.
  8. Educational or training materials.
  9. Intranet content designed as a web page.

The NOAA Central Library has created a great list of useful tools for checking accessibility which can be found here.

For more information please visit Section508.gov

 

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Fundamental Concepts & Skills

Teach Access is an active collaboration among education, industry, and disability advocacy organizations to address the critical need to enhance students’ understanding of digital accessibility as they learn to design, develop, and build new technologies with the needs of people with disabilities in mind.

The members of Teach Access have identified a set of Fundamental Concepts and Skills necessary to understand and implement inclusive design and development of technology for people with diverse abilities, including people with disabilities. The Fundamental Concepts and Skills document can be found here.

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