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Assessing the Accessibilty of Web 2.0 Tools

by Wendy Torres


Assessing the Accessibility of Web 2.0 Tools
Cartoon shows a bird, monkey ,penguin ,elephant, a fish in a bowl, seal and a dog.  The instructor is outside sitting at a desk. The instructor says "For a fair selection everybody has to take the same exam: Please climb that tree."
by Wendy Torres
Senior Instructional Technologist
Twitter handle: @Tech_snacks

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Full Disclosure
-B.A. Special Education
-M. Ed Instructional Technology
-Mother of two. (One in college and one who is in Fifth Grade) The Fifth grader is Autistic.
-I took it for granted that websites and Web 2.0 tools were accessible.
- I just assumed they were. It was only when I started really looking into the accessibility of Web products, did I realize many of them were not. 
Wendy with her family. She has two children. One is an African American female who is holding up a highschool diploma, She is wearing a white dress. Wendy is in the middle smiling wearing a blue dress. She is a hispanic woman. Her son is to the left of her. He is an African American male who is ten.
Black and white photo of Wendy with her two kids. They are smiling at the camera. Xavier is wearing a paper crown and drinking from a straw.
So what are Web 2.0 tools?
Web 2.0 tools are web-based tools that focus on user collaboration, sharing of user-generated content, and social networking.

Many are free to use and work on multiple platforms.
Collaboration :Working with someone to produce or create something. Sharing of user-generated content 	Student centered focus: Social networking: Practice of expanding the number of one's business and/or social contacts by making connections through individuals
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ( amended many times)
Section 508 requires Federal agencies to ensure that persons with disabilities have comparable access to and use of electronic information technology.​  Section 504 requires organizations to provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in their programs and benefit from their services.​  Unless you are a Federal agency- your institution is held to the standards of Section 504- 508 is more stringent but the ideal .​
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This includes electronic technology.
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These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities, and user friendly for everyone.
The guidelines have three levels of accessibility (A, AA and AAA)
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A (VPAT™) is a document that explains how information and communication technology (ICT) products such as software, hardware, electronic content, and support documentation meet (conform to) the (Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) for IT accessibility.