The digital divide includes the tech design divide that keeps people who are using assistive technology or who have disabilities from being able to use web sites, software and other tech tools. But making your web site and other online services more accessible isn't just a nice thing to do: it makes a web site more accessible for potential customers, clients and donors, and demonstrates an organization's commitment to usability and accessibility to everyone. In addition, for a designer or programmer, knowing how to make a web site fully accessible makes you more competitive in the job market.
And there's also this big change: On October 8, President Obama signed legislation designed to expand access to television, the internet and various other telecommunications technologies for Americans with disabilities. Is your organization in compliance with this expansion of the American with Disabilities Act?
AccessU West - is a web accessibility institute (previously CalWAC) that will be held January 10-12, 2011 in San Jose, California. AccessU West offers classes on how to make electronic information technology accessible to everyone – including people with disabilities.
This event is for web developers, web designers, IT Managers, IT policy developers, IT administrators, programmers, anyone with IT responsibilities, or IT students. You will learn web accessibility from the usability/UX perspective, learn to use HTML5, CSS3 and ARIA as part of your accessible designs, advanced CSS for accessibility, how to create accessible tools with Drupal, how to develop a web accessibility policy, and so much more!
Attendees can choose from one, two or three days of workshops. This year, the course tracks include:
Make it Accessible – The Design/Development Track for people creating content, software, web sites and multimedia. This track of classes will provide the how-to knowledge you need to be sure that people with disabilities can use what you create to make accessibility part of your design strategy.
Make it Usable – The Usability Track for people creating or evaluating technology. Attendees will learn how to make sure that your websites and software are usable by everyone, including people with disabilities.
Set the Direction – The Policy and Administration Track for administrators, managers and policy makers. In October, the president signed into law the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which extended the American with Disabilities Act to include online technologies. Attendees to this track of classes will learn the laws, and learn how to set up a program that works for your company and your team.
A group rate is available with the registration of six or more people from the same organization/association.
This institute is produced by Knowbility.org, a national nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. Knowbility's mission is to ensure barrier-free IT - supporting the independence of people with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessible information technology. Knowbility's award-winning programs and services are designed to provide universally-available, barrier-free information technology solutions that help the blind visualize the world around them, help the deaf communicate with the hearing world, and help those with mobility impairments “travel” via the Internet. But accessibility is not just for people with disabilities. Research has shown that more than two out of three technology users benefit from accessible design. Additionally, the same techniques used to enable assistive technologies often facilitate access to web sites by mobile phones and other handheld devices.
Knowbility's Executive Director and co-founder, Sharron Rush, is an award-winning author of the premier book on accessible web design, Maximum Accessibility, which was published by Addison Wesley and co-written with Dr. John Slatin. She has led Knowbility to national recognition, including appearances on the Oprah Winfrey TV show, "Best Practice" feature at the National Labor Skills Summit, and recognition for excellence and innovation by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation.
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