Washington, DC, March 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights released information, including a webinar and factsheet for educational institutions and public libraries, to ensure web accessibility for students with disabilities during the coronavirus outbreak.  In response, User1st Vice President of Communications Raegan Bartlo made the following statement:

“The coronavirus outbreak has led to a ‘new normal’ for families and teachers providing online education to all students.  We support the Department of Education’s proactive initiative to provide educational institutions and public libraries with resources to support students with disabilities so they may utilize accessible online learning. Accessible distance learning will be critical to providing equal access to online learning tools so that students with disabilities do not fall behind.” said Bartlo.

For students with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities, the ability to access content through a website or application can be much more challenging than for those individuals without disabilities.  The Department of Education webinar cited recommendations for ensuring web accessibility, including routine checking, emphasizing that automated should be supplemented by manual testing as not all errors can be sourced, never mind fixed, automatically.  “This is a reality well-known in the web accessibility industry but not necessarily by many organizations, including education institutions and public libraries,” said Bartlo, “and User1st is ready to assist educators and public libraries in any way they need.”

The Department also took the time to clarify and reiterate its mandate to enforce the two important federal civil rights laws regarding accessibility, including ADA Title II and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Both laws require people with disabilities to have equal opportunity to access services, programs and activities as people without disabilities. 

The Department also continues to update www.ed.gov/coronavirus with information for students, parents, educators and local leaders.  For additional resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

 

About User1st

Founded with the purpose of making the power of the internet accessible for persons with varied and changing abilities, User1st provides the most advanced web accessibility solutions on the market for testing, remediation, monitoring, and compliance. User1st’s solutions are deployed in a variety of industries worldwide, including financial services, retail, government, education, and healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.user1st.com/ and follow User1st on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter @User1st.

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Raegan Bartlo, VP Communications
User1st
571-276-2287
raegan.bartlo@user1st.com