Web Accessibility Policy for Students with Disabilities in U.S. Postsecondary Distance Education

Web Accessibility Policy for Students with Disabilities in U.S. Postsecondary Distance Education

Heidi L. Wilkes (Northeastern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-963-7.ch111
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Abstract

“Web accessibility” is the ability to access information online. In distance education, most instructional material is located online, and anything that prevents a person from accessing these materials becomes a barrier to distanceeducation. Demand for distance education is growing, and the Web is the most common mechanism for its delivery. Not all Websites are accessible, despite the availability of design guidelines. The purpose of this chapter is to informWeb accessibility policy decisions at U.S. postsecondaryinstitutions by increasing the awareness of Webaccessibility issues in distance education, examining societal implications, and discussing methods forimprovement. This chapter also reviews the current U.S.legal context and provides alternative cost-justification and cost-benefit frameworks for consideration by policymakers.

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