Education's early groundwork
- By Daniel Keegan
- Apr 24, 2000
Three years before the Access Board drew up its accessibility standards,
the Education Department had created similar ones through the Assistive
Technology Program, which provides services and technology to the department's
With no prior model, the program turned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's
Trace Research and Development Center, IBM Corp.'s Special Needs Center
and Microsoft Corp.'s accessibility program for guidance.
Joe Tozzi, director of the Education program, said the team used the
following steps to increase accessibility and to identify useful products:
* Conducted an internal needs assessment to determine what equipment
and services required changes.
* Identified what technology met the needs best and provided employee
* Had test groups conduct software accessibility reviews using assistive
devices; vendors whose products were deemed deficient were notified with
recommendations on improvements.
* Worked with software engineers and Web designers to test products
during development to ensure accessibility.