The National Center on Disability and Access to Education, housed at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University, was selected to represent public education on the advisory committee that sets national policies on web accessibility and technology.
Jared Smith, associate director of technology at NCDAE, was named to the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee, and CPD Associate Director Cyndi Rowland is the alternate representative.
“As the only representative of higher education, the National Center on Disability and Access to Education will be primarily representing the interests all of public education to the committee,” Smith said. “As such, we will be influencing legislative changes that could potentially impact every child with a disability who participates in our country’s public education.”
The committee will update the technical standards of Section 508 and the Telecommunication Act. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act has had perhaps the largest single impact on the accessibility of web content and electronic information technology. These two pieces of legislation will impact the accessibility of hardware, software and information for
millions of end users.
“The best way to make change is to get as high on the food chain as you can,” said Rowland. “This committee is the highest place on the food chain right now in our nation, and we are honored to be selected as a part of it.”
Other participants in the committee include IBM, Dell, Microsoft, Canon, AT&T, Apple and more than 30 corporate, private and disability groups.
The National Center on Disabilities and Access to Education and its more than 500 partners and affiliates in education, industry and government monitor electronic distance education policies and practices and develop technology tools to enhance learning opportunities for people with disabilities.