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Site Improve is WNYRIC's supported program, Blackboard has new 'Ally'

Whether it is a word document, PDF, or a webpage, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has stated electronic information must be accessible to those with visual, audio, motor or other disabilities in a comparable way to those without disabilities.

Complaints have spurred demand for accessibility tools, which in turn has driven school personnel to trainings and services to support that goal.

“Training staff is a huge concern. Many content contributors are unfamiliar with the process of creating accessible content,” stated Rebecca Zdon, coordinator of the Website and Notification Solutions team at the Western New York Regional Information Center (WNYRIC). “At this point many districts recognize that accessibility is a process, not a project. It is an on-going process because a great deal of the information we post on a website is not static and those who are responsible for editing content will change over time.”

The WNYRIC offers training on accessibility and correcting issues with content both on the web and in electronic documents.

Having a tool is a good first step on the journey to compliance.

New from Blackboard is Ally, an accessibility checker built into their website content management software.  This tool is a result of the demand for accessibility.

The WNYRIC currently supports Siteimprove.  With Siteimprove, you can organize accessibility issues by priority, severity, and responsibility.  The software categorizes Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) errors by type; including a description of the issue and advice on how to fix it.  Users can navigate easily from Siteimprove to their website content management system to work on individual content issues.

See more information on WNYRIC website services and CSLO workshops this summer.

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