Can you imagine your world without Internet access? What single communications development in the modern era has been more revolutionary than the WWW? Now, the knowledge of the world is available 24/7—provided you can see your computer screen, move your mouse, work your keyboard, and hear the audio—so long as you aren’t experiencing some sort of disability.
As thought provoking as this idea may be, imagine being prevented from experiencing the Web simply because no one thought about another way to share their information online with you.
The Internet is one of the best things ever to happen to people with disabilities. Maybe you’ve never thought about it that way. Before the Internet, how would a blind person read the newspaper? How about a person who could not pick up or hold a newspaper? The answer is that they couldn’t read it independently without significant obstacles, if at all. A deaf person may be able to read a newspaper on their own but now they can also read transcripts or captions of multimedia content. People with cognitive disabilities can now consume information online because its structure and flexibility enables assistive technologies to present that information—if web content is created with accessibility in mind—in ways they can perceive.
Why accessibility is important to Binghamton
Binghamton is committed to ensuring that everyone can access all that we have to offer. Our goal is to provide seamless inclusion for everyone.
It’s the right thing to do.
We don’t want to ignore barriers to equal access to our online content and the needs of those who want to access it. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion as a community. Denying those values runs counter to who we are.
It’s the smart thing to do.
Online content created with validated standards is more “future-proof.” Emerging technologies, both hardware and software, are much more likely to operate well with valid, standardized, and accessible online content.
It’s the law.
We know, this sounds heavy-handed. But, the fact remains that the University is under state and federal mandates to assure that everything we provide online is accessible. Laws affecting the University include:
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 504 and 508)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Section 255)
- Assistive Technology Act of 2004
For more information about accessibility:
- Office for Civil Rights has a video series covering a variety of topics on digital access in education.