Defining Accessible Technology
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving financial assistance from the federal government. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by employers (Title I), public entities (Title II), and places of public accommodation (Title III). Both Section 504 and the ADA require Michigan Tech to provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities to participate in, and receive the benefits of, the educational program, and require that the University provide accommodation or modifications when necessary to ensure equal treatment. As technology has become more digital additional standards and guidelines have been created to ensure equal access to things like websites and online applications.
Accessible technology includes electronic documents, websites, videos, software applications, and hardware devices that can be used effectively by everyone, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities. This includes public-facing technology as well as technology used on campus.
Inaccessible technology negatively impacts those with a variety of disabilities, including mobility/orthopedic impairments, sensory impairments, specific learning disabilities, attention deficits, autism spectrum disorders, color blindness, low vision, speech impairments, health impairments, and psychiatric conditions. This includes not only people on campus, but also the general public, who may access our websites or publicly available technologies.
Accessible ICT is information technology that is designed, developed, or procured to be usable by, and therefore accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies.
Universal Design is the proactive design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
Creating/Correcting Accessible Technology
The Michigan Tech community is collectively responsible for assuring the technologies we choose, use, and create are fully accessible. This includes any faculty, staff, and students who purchase technology or create content.
Our effort is guided by our Accessible Technology Working Group (ATWG) and assisted by Equal Opportunity Compliance, Information Technology, and University Marketing and Communications.
Please contact our accessible technology coordinator to suggest new training materials. We appreciate your feedback and ideas.
Please use or barrier reporting form or call 906-487-3310.
We would love to have you on our team. Please contact our accessible technology coordinator to get involved.