Essentials of Accessibility/Section 508

Format: Two-Day Course
Date: Tuesday–Wednesday, April 24-25, 2012
Presenter: Sharron Rush


This course is designed to familiarize or refresh you on Section 508 Accessibility Law and Integration into your daily workflow. We'll talk about the specifics of the law and how it relates to global standards for graphics, HTML, and using ALT tags. We'll look at the accessibility of commonly used electronic document formats, including MS Office, Adobe PDF, and Open Office. You'll also experience and discuss the use of some assistive technologies that are widely used to navigate websites. We'll look at several free accessibility testing tools and consider ways to validate that accessibility guidelines have been followed and properly implemented.

While much of the course is lecture, we've built in time for discussion and hands-on practice of skills.

What You'll Learn

At the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Interpret accessibility laws, policies, standards, and guidelines and how they may affect the customer approach to web accessibility
  • Implement a design and requirements process for maximizing website accessibility
  • Design and code accessible documents, websites, applications, and multimedia
  • Understand the use of assistive technologies

Day 1: Introduction to Accessibility Law and Practice

Section 1.  Disability issues

Section 2.  Concepts in accessibility

Section 3.  Accessibility of electronic documents [How-To session]

Section 4.  Correct Mark-up (Semantic, structured HTML)

Section 5.  The Art of ALT - alternatives to graphic content

Section 6.  Accessible HTML Structures

Section 7.  Wrap Up and prep for Day 2

Day 2: Progressive Enhancement and Integrating Accessibility into the Workflow

Section 1.  Progressive Enhancement

Section 2.  Discovery, Planning, and Procurement

Section 3.  Production

Section 4.  Testing for Accessibility

Section 5.  Resource List, Q & A

About the Presenter

Sharron Rush is the co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, a nonprofit organization that grew from the first Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) in Austin in 1998. Sharron leads the effort to replicate the AIR program in cities throughout the country. Because of AIR, professional Web developers from hundreds of state agencies and technology companies have learned about the benefits, tools, and techniques of accessible Web design. In addition to improving the accessibility of their own work, AIR volunteers use their accessible Web design skills to create sites for more than 500 nonprofit groups, affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals.

Sharron believes strongly in the power of technology to support the independence of people with disabilities—and in the value of dynamic, ongoing collaborationn to strengthen communities. She has led 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.

In April of 2001, Sharron was named one of the Top 25 Women of the Web and in March 2002, she received the Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service through Interactive Media. She is a ComputerWorld Laureate, an advisor to the SXSW Interactive Media Conference, was named Community Tech Champion by the Congressional Black Caucus and co-wrote the book, Maximum Accessibility, which is recognized as one of the definitive accessibility resources. Sharron annually assembles the best minds in Web accessibility to deliver training conferences that teach and define interactive accessibility from the basics to the bleeding edge. 



Content Lead: DigitalGov University Team
Page Reviewed/Updated: May 4, 2012

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