Accessibility and its importance for individuals with disabilities
Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, environment, or facility is usable by as many people as possible, including by persons with disabilities. Achieving accessibility requires knowledge of accessibility standards, being aware of the needs of people with disabilities, and addressing barriers to access for individuals with disabilities.
Accessibility is a civil right and is federal law
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. These laws are enforced by both the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Department of Education (DOE), and they apply to Indiana University. This means that if something at IU isn't accessible, we should remediate it.
According to the Offices for Civil Rights (OCR) for both the DOJ and the DOE:
"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 substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability.
From recent OCR resolution agreements, including University of Cincinnati Resolution Agreement OCR Compliance Review #15-13-6001, December 2014: 2.