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What is "Remediation"?
If you search for “what is website remediation” on the internet, there’s not a whole lot of information that comes up. There are a lot of companies who offer the service and there are a lot of consultants who will offer advice, but what is it?
Remediation for electronic accessibility is identifying accessibility barriers in university online materials and updating those issues so information can be conveyed more clearly to a wide variety of audiences.
At UC, remediation is actually part of the quality assurance (QA) process. Electronic content created here at the university—websites, applications, etc.—go through the QA process to make sure everything works correctly. Remediation, as it applies to eAccessibility, is incorporated into the QA process by looking through online content, a website for example, and making sure certain elements are incorporated to meet accessibility standards.
How is remediation completed?
Initially, because websites are so big, this is done using a computer program that sifts through websites, much like the Google search engine spiders the world wide web. When it runs across certain pieces of a website, an image for example, it makes sure there is an alternative description for the visual content. If a description is present, it records that; if a description is not present, it records that, also.
Web developers and quality assurance team members work together not only to fix more complicated programming issues, but also to run what’s called a “manual scan” on the pages. A manual scan is completed by a person who checks through the issues, often times using assistive devices to check the pages for inconsistencies. Since the software can’t interpret the issues, it can only report its findings, adding the human element helps to interpret the barriers.
How does remediation effect me?
If you are a web author at UC, or someone who creates and edits content for the university website, you might be contacted by the Accessibility Network to work with them to remediate your website. Most likely, some of the content on your website needs to be updated to remove the barriers for individuals who use assistive devices. This is so our university website can stay in compliance with ADA laws.
How will I know about remediation?
The Accessibility Network will step you through everything you need to know about updating your website for accessibility during the remediation process. In the meantime, it would be helpful if you took a look at eAccessibility: An Introduction, a course in Blackboard created to give you some basic knowledge about eAccessibility. If you are not enrolled, you can use the Blackboard Self Enrollment Guide to self-enroll in the course.
By adding eAccessibility techniques into your everyday routine, you can begin to create accessible content from the start, opening the doors to new possibilities for students and potential students along the way.
Written for the Accessibility Network by an IT@UC Quality Assurance Analyst.