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The AccessIT Winter 2014 Newsletter
The logo for AccessIT: Georgia's Accessible IT Initiative.

About AccessIT

 

Members from Georgia state agencies attending the AccessIT kick-of presentation.

AccessIT is an initiative of the Georgia State ADA Coordinator's Office. Its design and purpose is to support Georgia state agency employees and ensure their information technology outlets are accessible to customers possessing a wide range of disabilities. Click on the video below for a brief introduction to the initiative.
 
A screenshot from the AccessIT introduction video.
 

Introduction to Web Accessibility: Highlighted Resources

Special thanks to presenter Robert Todd, Director, Policy and Partnership Development, University System of Georgia Board of Regents and Senior Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA).

Last October Robert Todd presented a webinar on Web Accessibility and Usability. Below is a link to the recorded webinar in case you were not able to attend, as well as links to valuable resources related to his presentation.
 

GVRA Advocates for Accessible Training Materials

Has your agency recently upgraded to Windows 7 and MS Word 2010, or do they have plans to upgrade to MS Word 2010 soon? If so, plan to incorporate accessible document training into your agency’s upgrade; that’s what training specialists at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) recommend.

After attending a hands-on accessible digital content training with AMAC’s digital content specialists, GVRA training specialists headed back to the office with plans to incorporate the enhanced strategies they learned. Realizing that not all of their staff have access to some of the accessibility tools available with newer versions of Microsoft Office, several specialists took it upon themselves to revise the training materials, creating more enhanced accessible versions to share with GVRA specialists. 
 

Creating Accessible Documents Using Microsoft Office

A graphic with icons for various accessibility training.

How do you identify important information when skimming through a document? You likely browse through the pages looking for clues such as headings and subheadings that identify titles and topics. Accessible documents can provide the same types of clues to users of assistive technology, such as screen readers, as they read through a document.

Screen readers rely on document structure for improved navigation. One form of document structure is created by using Microsoft Word’s built-in Styles to add headings and subheadings to a document. Headings provide screen reader users with the ability to skim through a document and navigate directly to the information they want to access.

The use of MS Word’s built in Styles is a key technique for creating more accessible documents. Adding document structure and navigation through the use of logical heading levels will make your documents more usable for everyone. This technique, along with alternative text descriptions for images, establishing a logical reading order, and the use of simple tables will ensure that your documents are accessible for all users.

See the AccessIT wiki for more information on using Microsoft Word’s built-in Styles and Microsoft PowerPoint’s built-in templates for creating accessible digital content.
 
 
"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect."
Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web.
 

 

Events

Accessible Content Training

Members of the AccessIT and AMAC teams will host a hands-on training session on accessible content creation for state agencies participating in the AccessIT pilot program. Agencies will learn key tips and tricks for making their content more accessible for their intended audience and are encouraged to bring samples of documents to be reviewed for accessibility.

Dates are tentatively scheduled between February 25-27, 2014. 


GA State ADA Conference

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act calls on state and local governments to ensure that qualified individuals with physical and mental disabilities are afforded equal opportunity to participate in those programs, services and activities offered by state and local governments.

For this purpose, the State ADA Coordinator's Office and the Georgia Association of State Facility Administrators are hosting the 4th annual ADA for State and Local Governments Conference. This Spring's conference will be held in April at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, dates to be announced.
 

Icon of a computer screen.
Upcoming Procurement Webinar

The next AccessIT webinar will cover information relevant to the procurement of accessible information technology. During the webinar attendees will learn more about how a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) provides information on how a product or service claims to conform to Section 508 Access Board Accessibility Standards for Electronic and Information Technology.

Dates to be announced.
A graphic of a tablet next to a stack of books.

Resources

One of the objectives of the AccessIT initiative is to filter the many resources that are available on the web into smaller, organized, targeted portions of information. By doing so, the AccessIT team hopes to provide state agencies with current information and direct technical assistance and training.
 

The AccessIT Wiki

The AccessIT Wiki page is your go-to resource for your accessibility needs. On the site you can find valuable information about upcoming webinars, previously recorded training sessions, various service categories, procurement, and so much more. Our team is constantly adding new content and resources to help meet state agencies' growing and changing accessibility needs.

Visit us at: www.accessit.gatech.edu/wiki
Links and Resources
WAVE | WebAIM | Wiki | W3C
AccessIT logo.
 
512 Means Street NW
Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30318
855-495-0374
www.accessit.gatech.edu
AMAC Accessibility Solutions logo.
The Georgia State ADA Coordinator's Office works with AMAC Accessibility Solutions to provide valuable resources and training to state agencies regarding accessible content.