Digital Accessibility Initiative
The Digital Accessibility Initiative is an initiative to make all online documentation fully accessible at Marymount Manhattan College.
In order to provide equal access and equal education opportunities to people with disabilities it is important to take into consideration alternative formats and alternative methodologies for student education. In a time where the percentage of students with disabilities entering college is climbing, it is crucial for everyone to do their part in creating an inclusive educational experience.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates that, “All Electronic Information Technology must be made accessible to people with disabilities.” Additionally, all colleges and universities receive some form of federal funding and therefore must comply Federal mandates. Achieving this goal of being a fully accessible and inclusive institution, helps to protect Marymount Manhattan College from any legal ramifications that might occur as a result of not being compliant.
The Digital Accessibility Initiative is a campus-wide ambition where everyone can do their part to assist with making Marymount Manhattan College as digitally accessible as possible. This includes all faculty and staff.
The first step is to scan any documents that may be presented to students for accessibility issues.
Primary tools to check document accessibility:
- Blackboard/Blackboard Ally
- Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker
Blackboard is the software primarily used for online classes and online content sharing here at Marymount Manhattan College. When uploading a document into the content section of Blackboard an accessibility score will auto-generate rating the document on its accessibility level. By clicking on the rating Blackboards Ally will load a screen explaining what the issue is and how to fix it.
Blackboards Ally is companion software that is linked to Blackboard. Its purpose is to scan uploaded content for accessibility issues and score it’s accessibility accordingly.
Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker
With Microsoft Office apps there is a built-in accessibility checker feature. The feature is listed under File: Check Issues. When you click on this option, it immediately scans the document for any accessibility issues. By clicking on an issue that is found the accessibility checker will explain how to fix it. ________________________________________________________________
The resources button below leads to a page that contains documents, presentations, and video links on how to create accessible documentation.