Accessibility Guidelines

Meeting Requirements for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA

All technological solutions should include accessibility for persons with disabilities at a level of compliance at or beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act. The solutions should abide the concept of universal access, which make accessibility part of the original design, rather than something added on after the fact. (California Community Colleges Technologies Plan III 2008 Update)

Web Accessibility

Web accessibility means that persons with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web. Review of the standards below is the responsibility of faculty and staff who build those web pages. An array of software evaluation tools and training is available on the College of the Desert Accessibility Resources page.

Web Content

All web content should be designed to follow WC3 (World Wide Web Consortium) WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) so that assistive technologies are usable.

  • Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non text content (including closed captioning for all video content).

  • Time based media: Provide alternatives for time based media, for example, provide textual information for audio only or video.

  • Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

  • Keyboard Accessible: Make all functions available from the keyboard.

  • Enough time: Provide users enough time to use the content.

  • Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.

  • Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

  • Readable: Make text content readable and understandable.

  • Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

  • Input assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes. For example, provide text information about fillable fields.

  • Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future agents, including assistive technologies and browsers.

Workstation Requirements

Wherever possible, campus should look for universal access software for every computer. For example, the latest operating systems have built in accessibility features that provide a satisfactory level of accessibility for many disabilities. The college is encouraged to move to these new standards to provide these accessible features to every workstation.

A recommended minimum of ten percent of student workstations should be designated as accessible workstations. The workstations will include adjustable height table, adjustable height chair with arms, CCTV, scanner, trackball mouse, wireless keyboard, USB headset and microphone, scan and read software for struggling readers, scan and read software for the visually impaired, text reader for the visually impaired, screen magnification software, and large LCD monitors.

Physical Barriers

  • Adjustable height chair with detachable arms

  • Adjustable height legs on tables and/or

  • Work surface at least 28” to 34” from the floor

  • Clearance of 28” from the floor to bottom of lowest protrusion (allows for electric wheelchair)

  • Minimum of 19" horizontal knee clearance under the desk or table

  • Utility and equipment controls located within easy reach

  • Clear aisle width minimum 36”

  • Wireless mouse and wireless keyboard

  • Assistive technology

Minimum Number of Accessible Computer Stations

The following are minimum requirements:

  • A total of 10% of all student computer stations. Depending on the lab environment and the use of Universal design, the total number of computer stations which meet the minimum standards may be greater. This includes a minimum of 1 computer station which meets Enhanced Standards in every student lab.

  • In the past, this count of computer workstations included the 24 adaptive workstations in the High Tech Center. In year 2010, due to budget constraints, the High Tech Center is not open during a significant number of colleges weekly business hours. Therefore, considering those workstations as part of the overall count of accessible workstations may not be considered realistic.

Minimum Standard

  • Windows 7 (includes BASIC screen reader, magnification, speech recognition)

  • Screen reader software (currently Dolphin Super Nova)

  • Screen magnification software (currently Dolphin Super Nova)

  • Speech recognition software (currently Dragon Naturally Speaking*)

  • Accessible furniture (see above)

  • 22-inch or larger flat panel, on any accessible computer

  • USB Headset

Enhanced Standard

All minimum standards with the addition of:

  • Latest versions of operating system and adaptive software

  • CCTV (Computer Compatible)

  • Scanner (HP Scanjet 8600 or comparable scanner)

  • Scan/read software (currently Kurzweil 1000 and 3000)

  • 1 height adjustable table

  • 19-inch or larger flat panel display

Faculty Review Process of Accessibility

The faculty review process has been established to ensure accessibility of computer hardware and software.

Review of software and lab applications by the Ed Tech committee. Wherever possible, strong consideration should be given to acquire software that is accessible. Many leading software tools have been strictly inaccessible due to a predominantly graphical environment that do not include text alternatives.

Review of applications for new electronic features of curriculum by the Curriculum Committee.

Faculty and Staff Training

Disabled Students Programs and Services will assist in the coordination of training faculty concerning web accessibility.