Texas Tech University's Mission Statement states that we are "dedicated to student success by preparing learners to be ethical leaders for a diverse and globally competitive workforce." To help ensure that we achieve this mission, the university has made strides to ensure online accessibility for our students, employees, and users of the website. The National Center for Educational Statistics claims that 11% of postsecondary students reported having disabilities; this does not include unidentified students who do not receive accommodations, or students who choose not to disclose their disability. At Texas Tech University, we are committed to student success and online accessibility is a step in the right direction.
What is Online Accessibility?
As defined in certain lawsuits, "Accessible means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantial ease of use" (South Carolina Technical College). In terms of online accessibility, this would refer to any content that is online, or digital—essentially, any instructional material, online information, forms, videos and images.
Why Online Accessibility?
Several legal regulations and lawsuits in the past years have made an impact on the progression towards accessibility in online environments in higher education. The laws are the basis of the lawsuits, and are used as guidance of TTU's online accessibility. Learn more about federal regulation and resolution agreements and lawsuits. Most lawsuits emphasize the statements "fully and equally accessible" and "ease of use." University of Montana (Missoula) also includes "individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe".
As David Berman says in the following video, "This is the the decade we shift towards accessibility. This is the decade we do better business, we do better civilization, by all learning how to create a more accessible Web.
David Berman on Web Accessibility Matters: Why Should We Care
If you are a student needing assistance accessing information in your course or the TTU website, contact Student Disability Services.
If you need help creating accessible websites or emails, contact IT Help Central.
If you are an instructor needing help with creating accessible instructional material, contact Worldwide eLearning Online Accessibility.