Section 508 Standards
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations listed below to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can support implementation.
Because the Course Management System (CMS) is a Web tool you may not have all the ability to manipulate accessibility features that you would in a stand alone Web site. However, there are some steps you can take to make your the CMS content more accessible.
- Users who use a screen reader or those with severe low vision may want to switch their display option to Accessible View, PDA or 508 mode.
- Color blind or users who need
large font sizes may wish to view
all their pages in an accessible
theme. To change a theme, Login, go
to Settings in the
My Profile menu on the left
then click on
Personal Theme Selector.
Some themes which have been
developed for accessibility purposes
- Large Text - Default text size is set higher.
- Black and White - Uses black text with a white background for highest contrast.
- Black -
Reverses colors so
that background is
dark and the text is
light. Needed for
some low vision
- NOTE: Users can check "Always use this theme" to override custom themes from a course.
- If students find the text too small in the CMS even with zooming, you can suggest switching from older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 to other browsers such as Firefox or Internet Explorer 7. These browsers tend to allow more text to be zoomed.
- If you use complex image maps, multimedia or scripts, you may want to develop them on an external Web site and link to them from within the CMS.
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