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Online Professional Certificate Program for Improved IT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities - University of Illinois

  • Synopsis: Published: 2015-11-04 - Fully online professional development certificate in information accessibility design and policy. For further information pertaining to this article contact: University of Illinois at www.illinois.edu.

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"Accessibility is important to a wide variety of users with varying degrees of disability. We need more IT and communication professionals trained to minimize barriers and maximize access to digital information."

Information Accessibility Design and Policy (IADP) certificate program will provide training on creating content and utilizing assistive technologies that facilitate equal access to information.

The University Of Illinois College Of Applied Health Sciences has developed a fully online professional development certificate in information accessibility design and policy. From hands-on developers to compliance officers, anyone responsible for making web content findable, usable and accessible for persons with disabilities can learn how to meet accessibility standards and exceed user expectations.

Focusing on universal design techniques and federal and state mandates among many other topics, the IADP certificate program includes three online, consecutive 8-week courses that cover:

  • Principles of accessible information architecture and universal design information technologies used in educational, healthcare, and employment settings.
  • Federal and state legal requirements for providing equal access to information technologies to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities.
  • Information technology accessibility standards, design techniques that enable adherence to those standards, and tools that support validation and evidence of compliance to those standards.

""Accessible Thinking' must become part of "Design Thinking' for online technologies to be truly accessible and usable by people with disabilities," said Dr. Jon Gunderson, Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology Accessibility in the Division of Disability Resources and Education Services (DRES) at the University of Illinois.

"Managers, UX Designers, web developers, quality assurance engineers, information specialists, disability service providers, all have a role to play in making online technologies accessible. The first step in the process of learning about "Accessible Thinking' is understanding the experience of disability in using online technologies. The second step is understanding that current web technologies can be used to make highly accessible usable online resources."

"As the ADA recognizes the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there is an increasing demand for accessible websites and a heightened awareness about meeting basic accessibility standards," said Dr. Reginald Alston, leading scholar in rehabilitation and disability services and University of Illinois professor.

"Accessibility is important to a wide variety of users with varying degrees of disability. We need more IT and communication professionals trained to minimize barriers and maximize access to digital information."

The University of Illinois, a leader in pioneering efforts to improve access, recently launched a program aimed at improving IT accessibility for the disabled population. The program is the first and only comprehensive program in the United States offering courses in creating content and utilizing assistive technology to provide equal access to digital, video, audio and print information.

For more information about the IADP certificate program:

online.ahs.illinois.edu/iadp/



Related:

  1. Better Classrooms for Children with Disabilities - Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
  2. Disability Project Ideas for School Lessons and Assignments - Ian Langtree
  3. Accessibility of English Language Proficiency Tests for People with Disabilities - Educational Testing Service

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