HomeTN eCampus FacultyAccessibilityAccessibility or Accommodation?

10.2. Accessibility or Accommodation?

Sealed clamshell packaging pried open with scissors.

What is Accessibility?

Almost everyone knows the frustration of open packages. There are many tools to make this easier and safer, but there is another kind of accessibility that concerns web content.

"Accessible" means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same time frame as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use. A few examples of accessibility include accessible web pages, accessible instructional materials,  accessible apps, and an accessible eReader.

Distance Learning (DL) specific and compliant:

What is an Accommodation?

“Accommodations” are reasonable academic adjustments or auxiliary aids that provide equal access to programs and services on an individual basis. A few examples of reasonable academic adjustments or auxiliary aids include extended time on tests, taking an exam in a minimal distraction area, recording a lecture, and having a note-taker.

DL specific and non-compliant:

What is the difference?

Accessibility is achieved through the use of identified standards to design environments to be used by everyone, including persons with disabilities, and oversight is often provided by an accessibility manager and/or ADA coordinator.

Accommodations are requested by a person with a disability and determined to be reasonable on an individual basis by an appointed representative, often, in a disability services office. Accommodations may be needed beyond an accessible environment for equal access to programs and services because of the individual nature of the disability not due to an environment’s inaccessible design.


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