Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Accessibility
ICT Accessibility refers to ensuring the ability of everyone, regardless of disability, to access, use and benefit from all information technology and other equipment, systems, or processes, for which the principal function is the creation, manipulation, storage, display, receipt, or transmission of electronic data and information.
Accessible Internet Worldwide
In-depth information on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) can be found at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (https://www.w3.org/WAI/). W3C develops international standards for the web, and their Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops standards and support materials to help anyone understand and implement accessible web standards.
Accessible Internet Statewide
The State of California’s website provides an approachable outline of some of the considerations one should take when developing an accessible website. To learn more, please visit the accessibility webpage of CA.gov (https://www.ca.gov/accessibility/) which outlines California’s accessibility standards and provides information on various useful tools.
The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) has a web accessibility page (https://www.dor.ca.gov/Home/WebsiteAccessibilityRequirements) that can provide you with a wealth of information. They also offer CDT Website Accessibility Trainings for a fee.
The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) also has a document accessibility page (https://www.dor.ca.gov/Home/DocumentAccessibility) which can provide you with guides to create accessible documents in Microsoft office, PDFs, Multimedia and Captioning. They also offer Accessibility Trainings on this topic for a fee.
Microsoft offers dynamic content on their website, which allows users to troubleshoot based on their operating system type:
Microsoft’s website for making accessible Word documents (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/make-your-word-documents-accessible-to-people-with-disabilities-d9bf3683-87ac-47ea-b91a-78dcacb3c66d?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US)
Microsoft’s website for making accessible PowerPoint documents (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/make-your-powerpoint-presentations-accessible-to-people-with-disabilities-6f7772b2-2f33-4bd2-8ca7-dae3b2b3ef25?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US)
The AT3 Center has additional resources, such as The AT3 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Resource Roundup webpage (https://www.at3center.net/repository/ICTCoPResources) which has materials and archived webinars, which you can view on the AT3 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Community of Practice webpage (https://www.at3center.net/repository/ICTCoP)
When it comes to accessibility, the words you use are just as important as the way they are presented.
An important consideration when developing materials, be them on the web or in a document, is the use of Plain Language. Plain Language is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it. If overlooked, this can be a huge barrier for individuals with intellectual disabilities or information processing disorders. A useful resource for understanding the importance and implementation of Plain Language is The Plain Language education and resource government webpage (https://www.plainlanguage.gov/)
Additionally, when developing content, another important thing to consider is omitting the use of idioms and colloquialisms. Individuals who are on the autism spectrum typically experience the use of these styles of speech as barriers to comprehending the content of the work. These phrases are often taken literally and can be confusing and/or distracting.
Be sure to provide captioning when your materials include audio. Captioning is a vital tool to ensuring that your message can be received by all audiences who wish to interact with it. Captioning is generally considered a tool for the deaf and hard of hearing community, and while that is true, it can also make your materials more accessible to individuals who are on the autism spectrum, have auditory or language processing disorders or learning difficulties.
For more information on ICT Accessibility, please contact us at [email protected].