Officials examine website accessibility amid federal disability investigation

As the Department of Education investigates GW for alleged disability discrimination based on the accessibility of its websites, officials say they’ve formed a task force to examine the issue.

The complaint, which launched an investigation that began in April, has prompted a federal probe of the University’s policies and procedures regulating online accessibility. Experts said the inquiry may require GW to change how it manages website features so that students with disabilities aren’t put at an academic disadvantage.

US Access Board Issues Final Standards and Guidelines for Section 508

On January 18, 2017, the Access Board published a final rule that jointly updates requirements for information and communication technology covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communication Act. The Section 508 Standards apply to electronic and information technology procured by the federal government, including computer hardware and software, websites, multimedia such as video, phone systems, and copiers. The Section 255 Guidelines address access to telecommunications products and services, and apply to manufacturers of telecommunication equipment.

Learn more about the Section 508 refresh

University May Remove Online Content to Avoid Disability Law

The University of California, Berkeley, has announced that it may eliminate free online content rather than comply with a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the content accessible to those with disabilities.

The content in question is all free and is for the general public to use. “The department’s findings do not implicate the accessibility of educational opportunities provided to our enrolled students,” said in a statement on the situation by Cathy Koshland, vice chancellor for undergraduate education.

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Settlements Reached in Seven States, One Territory to Ensure Website Accessibility for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today announced that it has reached settlements with education organizations in seven states and one territory to ensure website accessibility for people with disabilities.

OCR had received complaints involving each of the organizations, resulting in investigations. But before OCR had completed its probes, each of the 11 parties expressed interest in resolving their cases voluntarily, resulting in the agreements announced today. The settlements involved: Juneau, Alaska, School District; the Guam Department of Education; Montana School for the Deaf and Blind; Santa Fe, New Mexico, Public Schools; Washoe County, Nevada, School District; The Davidson Academy of Nevada; Nevada Department of Education; Oregon Department of Education; Granite, Utah, School District; Bellingham, Washington, School District; and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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CDS Technology Presentation Series

Learn to use online applications for storing, scheduling and sharing information on the web by fully expanding the UH@Google applications available to all UH students, staff and faculty. This series of in-person presentations at the new CDS Building Conference Room will also be available on YouTube Live Streaming and recorded for later viewing.

Storage

October 15 Thursday 12-1 pm

Find out about unlimited storage available and how to use the application for sharing large files compared with Dropbox.

Schedule

October 22 Thursday 12-1 pm

Use the online Calendar application to schedule meetings and events with automated reminders and RSVP features. This application can be shared and set-up for multiple users with features comparable to the online scheduling tool, Doodle.

Share

October 29 Thursday 12-1 pm

Create live and recorded online events for meetings and informational webinars with slide presentations and two Live Chat Video features for small and large audiences. Comparable programs include PowerPoint, Skype, and Blackboard Collaborate.

Please sign up for one or all the Technology Series presented from the Media Center Team by filling out the form at the following link:

 CDS Presentations on UH@Google

In-Person: 1410 Lower Campus Road 171F Conference Room

Live Video: CDS Information & Dissemination YouTube Channel @ http://tinyurl.com/CDS-YouTubeChannel

Kindle E-Reader Discrimination Lawsuit Settled

Two organizations representing the blind have settled a discrimination lawsuit against Arizona State University over its use of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader device. Arizona State is among several universities testing the $489 Kindle DX, a large-screen model aimed at textbook and newspaper readers.

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AUCD Hosts Webinar on Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility: What it is and Why it is Important to Your UCEDD

Thursday, May 1, 2014, 3:00PM – 4:00PM ET
Effective use of the Worldwide Web has become essential to a UCEDD’s ability to broadly and successfully disseminate information and resources. One often overlooked facet of web design is the optimized accessibility of content and site navigation for all users, including those who rely on assistive technology.

Todd Weissenberger, University of Iowa Web Accessibility Coordinator, and Mike Hoenig, a program coordinator at the Center for Disabilities and Development – Iowa UCEDD and an end user of assistive technology, will define Web accessibility from the legal and end user perspective, describe factors which lead to access barriers, define Web accessibility principles, outline the many reasons for incorporating accessibility into your Web design, and share pertinent resources. Ample time will be set aside to address your questions and concerns. Learn more about this Webinar

Media Center Services

The CDS Media Center provides accessible Web design and development services. We also specialize in accessibility assessment, repair and consulting to help you:

  • Reach the greatest possible audience
  • Meet accessibility conformance goals and achieve compliance with federal statutes (i.e. Section 508)
  • Insure a positive experience for your visitors

Learn more about Media Center services or contact us for a free consultation.

Heartbleed Bug Exposes Weakness in OpenSSL

The Heartbleed bug, as it has become known, is a weakness in the encryption protocol in OpenSSL—which can expose vast amounts of data including: account usernames and passwords, system information, and more. This bug affects Web servers running OpenSSL—and has been around since the launch of OpenSSL v1.0.1 in March 2012.

Information Technology Services at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has confirmed that this bug affected UH servers running OpenSSL. The full release is available on the ITS Web site: http://www.hawaii.edu/askus/1574.

Additional suggestions for password security are as follows:

  1. Use unique passwords for all of your accounts online.
  2. Use secure passwords consisting of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters
  3. Change your passwords periodically to insure security

Please contact the Media Center for further assistance at: cdsweb@hawaii.edu .