Ensuring Digital Accessibility through Process and Policy

Ensuring Digital Accessibility through Process and Policy

1st Edition - June 3, 2015
  • Authors: Jonathan Lazar, Daniel Goldstein, Anne Taylor
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128007105
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128006467

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Ensuring Digital Accessibility through Process and Policy provides readers with a must-have resource to digital accessibility from both a technical and policy perspective. Inaccessible digital interfaces and content often lead to forms of societal discrimination that may be illegal under various laws. This book is unique in that it provides a multi-disciplinary understanding of digital accessibility. The book discusses the history of accessible computing, an understanding of why digital accessibility is socially and legally important, and provides both technical details (interface standards, evaluation methods) and legal details (laws, lawsuits, and regulations). The book provides real-world examples throughout, highlighting organizations that are doing an effective job with providing equal access to digital information for people with disabilities. This isn’t a book strictly about interface design, nor is it a book strictly about law. For people who are charged with implementing accessible technology and content, this book will serve as a one-stop guide to understanding digital accessibility, offering an overview of current laws, regulations, technical standards, evaluation techniques, as well as best practices and suggestions for implementing solutions and monitoring for compliance.  This combination of skills from the three authors—law, technical, and research, with experience in both corporate, government, and educational settings, is unique to this book, and does not exist in any other book about any aspect of IT accessibility. The authors’ combination of skills marks a unique and valuable perspective, and provides insider knowledge on current best practices, corporate policies, and technical instructions. Together, we can ensure that the world of digital information is open to all users.

Key Features

  • Learn about the societal and organizational benefits of making information technology accessible for people with disabilities
  • Understand the interface guidelines, accessibility evaluation methods, and compliance monitoring techniques, needed to ensure accessible content and technology
  • Understand the various laws and regulations that require accessible technology
  • Learn from case studies of organizations that are successfully implementing accessibility in their technologies and digital content


UX professionals/ designers and information technology professionals

Table of Contents

    • Critical Acclaim for Ensuring Digital Accessibility through Process and Policy
    • About the Authors
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1. Introduction to accessible technology
      • Introduction
      • Defining Accessible Technology
      • Various Types of Disabilities
      • Various Types of Technologies
      • Accessible Technology vs. Augmentative Communication and Prosthetics
      • Various Types of Policies
      • How Policies and Laws Can Lead to Improved Access to Digital Information
      • Summary
      • A Note About the Usage of Terms
      • References
    • Chapter 2. The history of access technology
      • Introduction
      • Early History of Assistive Technologies (through the 1960s)
      • The 1970s-Present
      • Current Events and Trends
      • How Accessible Technology has Crossed Over into the Mainstream
      • Understanding Why/How People with Disabilities Adopt Technology
      • How the Changes in Technology Over Time Must Influence Changes in Solutions
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 3. The discriminatory impact of digital inaccessibility
      • Introduction
      • Separate But Equal in the Context of Disability
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 4. Technical standards for accessibility
      • Accessibility Standards
      • The World Wide Web Consortium and the Web Accessibility Initiative
      • The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
      • Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines
      • User Agent Accessibility Guidelines
      • Accessible Rich Internet Application
      • EPUB
      • Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 5. U.S. laws and lawsuits
      • Introduction
      • Federal Statutes that have an Impact on the Accessibility of Technology
      • State Laws Applicable to Accessible Technology
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 6. International disability law
      • Introduction
      • Disability Law in the United Nations: A Brief History
      • The European Union
      • Statutory and Case Law on Digital Accessibility
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 7. Regulations
      • Introduction
      • How Regulations Are Influenced by International Technical Standards
      • The Role of Performance Standards
      • Existing Regulations Related to Digital Accessibility
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 8. Evaluation methods and measurement
      • Introduction
      • Metrics for Accessibility?
      • Core Methods for Evaluation
      • User Testing
      • Expert Inspection (Also Known as Expert Reviews)
      • Automated Review
      • What to Do with All of the Evaluation Data
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 9. Compliance monitoring policies and procurement
      • Introduction
      • Compliance Monitoring is Often Missing from Regulations
      • Different Types of Technology and How Compliance Monitoring Differs
      • Spending Money as the Trigger
      • Updating Content as the Trigger
      • Updated Versioning as the Trigger for Evaluation
      • Annual Reports
      • Putting an IT Accessibility Plan in Place
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 10. Case studies of success
      • Introduction
      • Best Practices in Libraries
      • Best Practices in Education
      • Best Practices in Government
      • Best Practices in Corporations
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 11. Culture change
      • Introduction
      • The Cultural Meaning of Disability
      • The Predominant Disability Narrative of “Disability as Tragedy”
      • The Segregating Effect of the “Tragedy Narrative” of Disability
      • The Counter-Narrative: A Disability is a Trait to be Dealt with in Leading a Normal Life
      • Effecting Culture Change—How to Make the Counter-narrative, Equal Opportunity, A Reality in the Context of Technology
      • Barriers Ahead
      • Summary
      • References
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 246
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2015
  • Published: June 3, 2015
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128007105
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128006467

About the Authors

Jonathan Lazar

Jonathan Lazar is a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Towson University and has served as director of the Undergraduate Program in Information Systems since 2003. He also founded the Universal Usability Laboratory at Towson University and served as director from 2003 to 2014. In the area of human-computer interaction, Lazar is involved in teaching and research on web accessibility for people with disabilities, user-centered design methods, assistive technology, and law and public policy related to HCI. He has previously authored or edited 10 books, including Ensuring Digital Accessibility Through Process and Policy (coauthored with Dan Goldstein and Anne Taylor), Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology Accessibility (coedited with Michael Stein), Universal Usability: Designing Computer Interfaces for Diverse User Populations, and Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach. He has published over 140 refereed articles in journals, conference proceedings, and edited books, and has been granted two US patents for his work on accessible web-based security features for blind users. He frequently serves as an adviser to government agencies and regularly provides testimony at federal and state levels, and multiple US federal regulations cite his research publications. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR); American Library Association; and TEDCO. He currently serves on the executive board of the Friends of the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the State of Maryland Work Group on Increasing the Teaching of IT Accessibility Concepts in State Universities. He has served in multiple roles in the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI), most recently, adjunct chair of public policy (2010–15) and Digital Accessibility Chair (CHI 2014). Lazar has been honored with the 2017 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Research, the 2016 SIGCHI Social Impact Award, given annually to an individual who has promoted the application of human-computer interaction research to pressing societal needs, the 2015 AccessComputing Capacity Building Award (sponsored by the University of Washington and the National Science Foundation) for advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities in computing fields, the 2011 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Public Service, and the 2010 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind, for working towards achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. In 2012, Lazar was selected to be the Shutzer Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, where he investigates the relationship between human-computer interaction for people with disabilities and US disability rights law.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Computer and Information Sciences, Towson University, and Shutzer Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Daniel Goldstein

Daniel F. Goldstein is a leading disability rights lawyer, who has been involved in most major legal cases about IT accessibility in the United States, including the landmark National Federation of the Blind vs. Target case, which established for the first time in case law, that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to commercial web sites.

Affiliations and Expertise

Partner, Brown, Goldstein & Levy, Baltimore, MD, USA

Anne Taylor

Anne Taylor is one of the world’s preeminent experts on assistive technology for blind users, and she has personal experience working with a number of top companies on improving accessibility, including Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Program Manager in the Trusted Experience Team at Microsoft and Director of Access Technology, National Federation of the Blind’s Jernigan Institute