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Community College Web Accessibility:
Field Initiated Development Project
In collaboration with the Institute for Community College Development (ICCD) at Cornell University, the Employment and Disability Institute is taking an in-depth look at the accessibility of major on-line student processes and developing tools to assist colleges with the process of improving the accessibility of those processes for students with disabilities. Specifically we are examining the online admissions application process, applying for financial aid via the web as well as finding important programmatic information on college websites.
This three year project is using a multi-pronged approach to examine the state of web accessibility in the community college network and identify IT accessibility barriers for students with disabilities and ways to address them. During Year One, the project team performed an accessibility review of selected online application processes in 30 community colleges. This review included both automated testing as well as several levels of manual testing and user testing for accessibility and usability. The focus of the Year Two research will be a telephone survey across all community colleges nationally regarding use of web-based/online student recruitment, application, and registration processes and the colleges' awareness of web accessibility issues and policies regarding accessibility.
Based on the findings of the Years One and Two activities, informational briefs detailing the study's findings and recommendations for systems change will be designed and disseminated to key representatives in the national community college network through the networks of the ICCD and the NIDRR-funded ADA Centers. The proposed dissemination products are the study's accessibility and usability web audit protocol, and a toolkit for Community College administrators which will contain findings and recommendations for effective community college systems change to promote increased accessibility to web-based student processes.
About the Project
U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
Institute for Community College Development (ICCD)
The Institute for Community College Development provides educational and professional development opportunities for current or future administrators and faculty members of community colleges and of their peer institutions in the United States and around the world.
The Galvin Group, LLC
The Galvin Group provides consultation, technical assistance, policy analysis and training on issues surrounding disability and rehabilitation.
William Erickson, Project Manager
201 Dolgen Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853