Accessibility Glossary of Terms

  1. Accessibility- means that individuals are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same time frame with substantially equivalent ease of use. A few examples of accessibility are, accessible web pages, accessible instructional materials, accessible apps and an accessible eReader.
  2. Accessible Document – A document that has been formatted in a manner to relay text with clarity, and relative ease. An accessible document has an established reading order, as well as visual elements that are tagged with alternate text descriptions. For example, any visual element such as a photo, chart, or graph that is necessary for the understanding of the document must be tagged. The established reading order and alternate text descriptions are needed for assistive technology to comprehensively and accurately communicate the information.
  3. Alternate Access Plan – Faculty are asked to complete this form when accessibility issues have been addressed in selecting curriculum materials to provide an alternate means of content access for students requiring a more accessible format.
  4. Accessibility Conformance and Remediation Form – When potential accessibility issues have been identified, Tennessee Board of Regents institutions use this form for auditors and vendors to document accessibility gaps associated with learning products and to indicate plans for addressing these gaps in the future.
  5. Close Captioning – A materials format that allows for dialogue and audible sounds to be read simultaneously with visual imagery.
  6. Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities. Written previous diagnosis of such an impairment will be regarded as proof of its presence.
  7. Physical impairments are defined as any physiological disorders, or conditions, cosmetic disfigurements or anatomical losses affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.
  8. Qualified individuals with disabilities are defined as individuals who, with or without reasonable modifications and accommodations, meet the essential eligibility requirements for programs, services, and activities offered by Columbia State.
  9. Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments for qualified individuals with documented physical or mental limitations which ensure that requirements do not discriminate on the basis of the disability. The reasonable accommodation should reduce or eliminate unnecessary barriers between the individual's abilities and the requirements for performance unless the requirement to be demonstrated is essential to the program of instruction being pursued by the student or is relevant to a licensing requirement. Note: It is the obligation of the student to request reasonable accommodations. The student also has the right and may refuse reasonable accommodations.
  10. Screen Reader- A technology that provides the user with access to information displayed on a screen, means of navigating the operating system via a keyboard, and the ability to use accessible applications using keyboard shortcuts, and auditory cues.JAWS and NVDA are examples of screen reading software programs for visually impaired users.
  11. Speech to Text Software:Software that converts audio to text by user dictation.Examples of this software Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Speech to text software does not assist the user with navigation of an operating system, such as Microsoft Windows, or software such as Microsoft Word.
  12. Text to Speech Software:Software that converts text to audio and is used by people with visual impairments, cognitive issues, or people on the go who like to listen to their coursework away from their computer. Text to speech software does not assist the user with navigation of an operating system, such as Microsoft Windows, or software such as Microsoft Word. Kurzweil, ReadandWrite by texthelp™, are text to speech software programs.
  13. Transcription: A transcription is a verbatim text document of speech sounds made by a speaker. Transcriptions can be a useful means of access for lecture, audio recordings, and multimedia for educational purposes. Without audio description, transcription does not allow for clarity in visuals presented with speech lecture. Software such as takes audio and converts it to a usable document in multiple formats.
  14. Undue hardships are defined as actions requiring significant difficulty and expense. Hardship is based upon the institutional rather than a departmental budget.
  15. VPAT – Voluntary Product Accessibility Template – This federal form determines potential weaknesses/needed improvements based on web accessibility guidelines to technological features of publisher software for disabled use in a variety of delivery formats.
  16. WCAG 2.0/2.1 – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the internet. 

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