Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information and Communication Technology or “ICT,” includes products that store, process, transmit, convert, duplicate, or receive electronic information. Examples are: software applications and operating systems; web-based information and applications such as distance learning; telephones and other telecommunications products; video equipment and multimedia products that may be distributed on videotapes, CDs, DVDs, email, or the World Wide Web; office products such as photocopiers and fax machines; calculators; and computer hardware. Electronic textbooks, instructional software, email, chat, and distance learning programs are also examples of ICT.
How is "ICT" different from "AT"?
Assistive technology, as it relates to information and communication technology, includes special tools or software to help people use computers, software, the Internet, telephones, or other technology used in education. Examples are: special keyboards; software to magnify a computer screen or audibly read the text on a computer screen; text telephones (TTYs) to help people who are deaf communicate using the telephone.
Information and communication technology may be inaccessible to people if it provides only one way to access the information. For example, those with visual impairments cannot read documents presented only in a visual format; people who are deaf cannot understand content that is only presented orally; people who have limited use of their hands or arms may not use a computer mouse; and people who use wheelchairs may not be able to operate a fax machine if the controls are impossible to reach.
Many of these barriers can be reduced or eliminated when the principles of "universal design" are used to design and develop the information technology. The decision to plan ahead for accessibility can reduce the need for special accommodations.
Assistive Technology Project's (ATP) Accessibility User Guides
- Download Idaho ATP's Accessiblity User Guides: PDF Best practices for creating accessible content in Microsoft Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word; Adobe Acrobat and InDesign; as well as Social Media. The User Guide also contains common keyboard shortcuts for moving around in Outlook and Windows.
Creating Accessible Documents
- Accessify offers a quick table builder that can create accessible tables using a wizard as a guide.
Using Plain Language
Creating Accessible Webpages
- Accessify offers useful accessibility tools and wizards, including a quick page accessibility test, form builder, and YouTube caption creator.
- The aDesigner is a tool that Web authors can use to ensure that the webpages they create are accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
- Adobe Flex 4 includes 35 accessible components that simplify the process of creating accessible rich Internet applications.
- The Audio Description Coalition has compiled Standards for Audio Description and a Code of Professional Conduct for Describers (requires free registration).
- HTML5: This robust technical specification for web developers facilitates accessibility.
- Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) Accessibility Center for Electronic Information Resources offers a one-stop shop for standards, guidelines, policy, and procedures relating to accessibility.
- U.S. Web Design System
- The federal government’s 508 Universe offers tools and resources to help implement Section 508 standards.
- Access iQ’s Web Accessibility Wizard consolidates WCAG 2.0 queries into a single, easy-to-navigate search result.
- The Illinois Center for Information Technology and Web Accessibility provides a wide range of accessibility-related information including events, training, and best practices.
- WebAIM features free accessibility tools and accessibility-related articles on topics such as HTML, rich media, and training.
- The Web Accessibility Toolbar, provided by the Accessible Information Solutions (AIS) team of Vision Australia, streamlines the process of testing web pages for accessibility.
- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed a comprehensive glossary and dictionary of all web-related terms.
- The Illinois Center for Information Technology and Web Accessibility provides a detailed list of HTML best practices for developing accessible sites.
- WC3 presents FAQs on making multimedia accessible—it's easier than you might think.
- W3C has a summary of extended audio descriptions with examples, techniques, and related resources.
- The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media offers two versions of the Media Access Generator (MAGpie) for creating captions and audio descriptions for rich media.
- Google has combined automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with the YouTube caption system to offer automatic captions, or auto-caps for short.
- The Dreamweaver Learn & Support is a rich source for Dreamweaver CC users with tutorials, resources, and discussion forums.
- The Web Developer extension for Firefox adds a menu and toolbar with various web developer tools.
- Microsoft Visual Studio offers accessibility best practices.
How to Check Accessibility
Standards and Guidelines
Information and Communication Technology in Education
Standards for Information and Communication Technology
Accessibility Services to Create Documents and Websites
The following websites offer pay-for-services that include the development, remediation and monitoring of PDFs, documents and websites.