January � March 2011
Volume 5 Issue 2
We offer Technical Assistance and Training on Accessible Technology
For more information, call 800-949-4232 (V/TTY)

Welcome to the DBTAC: Great Lakes ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events
(Central Standard Time)

Two Part Series on Accessible Flash
January 11, 18 2011
1pm CST
Join Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI) to learn more about what Flash is and how to make it accessible. This webinar is free. For more information go to: EASI Webinars at http://easi.cc/clinic.htm.
Two Part Series on Accessible Android
January 20, 27 2011
1pm CST
Join Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI) to learn more about Android Smart Devices and Android Accessibility. The speaker is Steve Jacobs, CEO of Apps4Android, Inc. This webinar is free. For more information go to: EASI Webinars at http://easi.cc/clinic.htm.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference
January 26 - 29, 2011
Orlando, FL
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference features more than 80 exhibitors in one of the most comprehensive exhibitions in the industry. Educational programs are organized by strand for at-a-glance content viewing and include best practices, tips and tricks, product updates, demonstrations, research updates and case studies of assistive technologies from regional, national and international experts. There is a fee for this conference. For more information go to: www.atia.org.
Ohio Education Technology Conference
Jan. 31 - Feb. 2, 2011
Columbus, OH
This conference is geared toward teachers, faculty, librarians, instructional designers, administrators, students and will provide the opportunity to network, listen and explore, has a track on assistive and accessible and technology. There is a fee for this conference. To register visit: www.etech.ohio.gov
HTML 5 Accessibility
February 2, 2011
1pm CST
Join Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI) to learn more about HTML5, including what it can do for you, how to do it, how reliable it is in terms of accessibility. This webinar is free. For more information go to: EASI Webinars at http://easi.cc/clinic.htm.
Current Events in Accommodation Webinar
February 8, 2010
1pm CST
The Tune in and stay up-to-date on current events in job accommodation, including tough accommodation situations, tricky ADA issues, and technology challenges. The speaker will provide practical tips for handling these and other job accommodation issues. This session is free. To register visit: www.jan.wvu.edu
Wisconsin Statewide Transition Conference
February 17 - 18, 2011
Wisconsin Dells, WI
The 8th annual Wisconsin Transition Conference offers in-depth information for youth with disabilities in the transition process, including Web 2.0 and assistive technology. There is a fee for this session. For more information: www.wsti.org.
Web Accessibility Training
March 2 - 3, 2011
Logan, UT
This hands-on training session, sponsored by Webaim, will teach basic web accessibility principles and to advanced accessibility techniques. There is a fee for this session. For more information: www.webaim.org/training.
EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference
March 14 - 16, 2011
Chicago, IL
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Their Midwest regional conference has several tracks of high quality information, including a special track on Accessible, Adaptive and Assistive Technology and Universal Access. There is a fee for this conference. For more information: www.educause.edu
International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference
March 14 - 19, 2011
San Diego, CA
This international conference is sponsored by the Center for Disabilities at California State University Northridge (CSUN). There is a fee for this conference. For more information visit: www.csunconference.org.

Join Us for the Next Free Webinar Session

The Accessible Technology Webinar series is hosted and coordinated by the DBTAC - Great Lakes ADA Center and the DBTAC-Pacific ADA Center on behalf of the ADA National Network.

The ADA National Network provides comprehensive services for up-to-date information, consultation, referrals, resources, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act for businesses, employers, governmental entities, service providers and individuals with disabilities.

Next Session: January 11, 2011 1:00 - 2:30pm CST

Social Networking to Your Advantage with Speaker Tom Wlodkowski, Director of Accessibility with AOL

Picture of Tom Wlodkowski
Tom Wlodkowski
Social networking sites, like Facebook, are all the rage, but can they really improve your work place productivity, visibility, and connections? This session will discuss which social network sites are accessible and might work best for you. Case studies from users with disabilities will and practical strategies will be given.

The series is free, but participants must pre-register at www.ada-audio.org.

Future sessions:

  • March 8, 2011 - Quick Checks For PDF Accessibility with speaker Christy Blew, IT Accessibility Specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • May 10, 2011 - How A Firm Can Differentiated Itself By Hiring Technologist With Disabilities with speaker Debra Ruh, Founder and CEO of TecAccess
  • July 12, 2011 - How To Create Accessible Video with speaker Terrill Thompson, Technology Accessibility Specialist with the University of Washington
  • September 13, 2011 - Introduction to Mobile Computing, speaker TBD.

A New Resource Available on Cell Phone Accessibility

A new resource has been published by the Trace Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison to provide guidance on making cell phones more usable by people with disabilities and elders. The Essentials for Cross-Disability Accessible Cell Phones suggests a minimum set of capabilities that mainstream phones could and should have, given today's technology, to enable a higher degree of accessibility.

This resource is a distillation of the Trace Center's research and development related to cell phone access, and is a product of the Telecommunications Access RERC. Included with this publication is a quick reference list that can be printed and used as a worksheet when assessing the accessibility of a cell phone. Also included is a list of some features that have appeared on mainstream phones and how they improve accessibility and usefulness for people with disabilities.

Comments on Adding Specific Web Accessibility Requirements to the ADA Due January 24, 2011

The Department of Justice is considering revising the regulations implementing title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to establish requirements for making public accommodations via the Internet accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Department of Justice is also considering revising the ADA's title II regulation to establish requirements for making information from State and local governments via the Web accessible. The Department is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in order to solicit public comment on various issues relating to the potential application of such requirements. Now is the time to give your feedback, comments are due January 24, 2011. For more information visit: http://www.ada.gov/anprm2010/web anprm_2010.htm

The following questions address the specific topic areas the Department of Justice is reviewing:

  • Question 1. Should the Department adopt the WCAG 2.0s "Level AA Success Criteria" as its standard for website accessibility for entities covered by titles II and III of the ADA? Is there any reason why the Department should consider adopting another success criteria level of the WCAG 2.0? Please explain your answer.
  • Question 2. Should the Department adopt the section 508 standards instead of the WCAG guidelines as its standard for website accessibility under titles II and III of the ADA? Is there a difference in compliance burdens and costs between the two standards? Please explain your answer.
  • Question 3. How should the Department address the ongoing changes to WCAG and section 508 standards? Should covered entities be given the option to comply with the latest requirements?
  • Question 4. Given the ever-changing nature of many websites, should the Department adopt performance standards instead of any set of specific technical standards for website accessibility? Please explain your support for or opposition to this option. If you support performance standards, please provide specific information on how such performance standards should be framed.
  • Question 5. The Department seeks specific feedback on the limitations for coverage that it is considering. Should the Department adopt any specific parameters regarding its proposed coverage limitations? How should the Department distinguish, in the context of an online marketplace, between informal or occasional trading, selling, or bartering of goods or services by private individuals and activities that are formal and more than occasional? Are there other areas or matters regarding which the Department should consider adopting additional coverage limitations? Please provide as much detail as possible in your response.
  • Question 6. What resources and services are available to public accommodations and public entities to make their websites accessible? What is the ability of covered entities to make their websites accessible with in-house staff? What technical assistance should the Department make available to public entities and public accommodations to assist them with complying with this rule?
  • Question 7. Are there distinct or specialized features used on websites that render compliance with accessibility requirements difficult or impossible?
  • Question 8. Given that most websites today provide significant amounts of services and information in a dynamic, evolving setting that would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate through alternative, accessible means, to what extent can accessible alternatives still be provided? Might viable accessible alternatives still exist for simple, non-dynamic websites?
  • Question 9. The Department seeks comment on the proposed time frames for compliance. Are the proposed effective dates for the regulations reasonable or should the Department adopt shorter or longer periods for compliance? Please provide as much detail as possible in support of your view.
  • Question 10. The Department seeks comment regarding whether such a requirement would cause some businesses to remove older material rather than change the content into an accessible format. Should the Department adopt a safe harbor for such content so long as it is not updated or modified?
  • Question 11. Should the Department take an incremental approach in adopting accessibility regulations applicable to websites and adopt a different effective date for covered entities based on certain criteria? For instance, should the Departments regulation initially apply to entities of a certain size (e.g., entities with 15 or more employees or earning a certain amount of revenue) or certain categories of entities (e.g., retail websites)? Please provide as much detail and information as possible in support of your view.
  • Question 12. What data source do you recommend to assist the Department in estimating the number of public accommodations (i.e., entities whose operations affect commerce and that fall within at least one of the 12 categories of public accommodations listed above) and State and local governments to be covered by any website accessibility regulations adopted by the Department under the ADA? Please include any data or information regarding entities the Department might consider limiting coverage of, as discussed in the "coverage limitations" section above.
  • Question 13. What are the annual costs generally associated with creating, maintaining, operating, and updating a website? What additional costs are associated with creating and maintaining an accessible website? Please include estimates of specific compliance and maintenance costs (software, hardware, contracting, employee time, etc.). What, if any, unquantifiable costs can be anticipated from amendments to the ADA regulations regarding website access?
  • Question 14. What are the benefits that can be anticipated from action by the Department to amend the ADA regulations to address website accessibility? Please include anticipated benefits for individuals with disabilities, businesses, and other affected parties, including benefits that cannot be fully monetized or otherwise quantified.
  • Question 15. What, if any, are the likely or potential unintended consequences (positive or negative) of website accessibility requirements? For example, would the costs of a requirement to provide captioning to videos cause covered entities to provide fewer videos on their websites?
  • Question 16. Are there any other effective and reasonably feasible alternatives to making the websites of public accommodations accessible that the Department should consider? If so, please provide as much detail about these alternatives, including information regarding their costs and effectiveness in your answer.
  • Question 17. The Department seeks input regarding the impact the measures being contemplated by the Department with regard to Web accessibility will have on small entities if adopted by the Department. The Department encourages you to include any cost data on the potential economic impact on small entities with your response. Please provide information on capital costs for equipment, such as hardware and software needed to meet the regulatory requirements; costs of modifying existing processes and procedures; any affects to sales and profits, including increases in business due to tapping markets not previously reached; changes in market competition as a result of the rule; and cost for hiring web professionals for to assistance in making existing websites accessible.
  • Question 18. Are there alternatives that the Department can adopt, which were not previously discussed in response to Questions 11 or 16, that will alleviate the burden on small entities? Should there be different compliance requirements or timetables for small entities that take into account the resources available to small entities or should the Department adopt an exemption for certain or all small entities from coverage of the rule, in whole or in part. Please provide as much detail as possible in your response.
  • Question 19. The Department is interested in gathering other information or data relating to the Departments objective to provide requirements for Web accessibility under titles II and III of the ADA. Are there additional issues or information not addressed by the Departments questions that are important for the Department to consider? Please provide as much detail as possible in your response.

Again, for more specific information visit: http://www.ada.gov/anprm2010/web anprm_2010.htm


The Great Lakes ADA Center provides expert assistance via a national toll-free information line 800-949-4232 (V/TTY) or Online via Contact Us and presents customized trainings for employers, businesses, government, and individuals with disabilities regarding accessible technology and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Disability and Human Development (MC 728)
1640 West Roosevelt Road, Room 405
Chicago, IL 60608-6904

Last Updated on:
Wed Jul 3, 2013