Accessible: In the case of a facility, readily usable by a particular individual; in the case of a
program or activity, presented or provided in such a way that a particular individual can
participate, with or without auxiliary aid(s); in the case of electronic resources, accessible with or
without assistive computer technology.

Access barriers: Any obstruction that prevents people with disabilities from using standard
facilities, equipment and resources.

Accessible web design: Creating web pages according to universal design principles to eliminate
or reduce barriers, including those that affect people with disabilities.

Accommodation: An adjustment to make a program, facility, or resource accessible to a person
with a disability.

Adaptive technology: Hardware or software products that provide access to a computer that is
otherwise inaccessible to an individual with a disability.

ALT attribute: HTML code that works in combination with graphical tags to provide alternative
text for graphical elements.

Alternative keyboard: A keyboard that is different from a standard computer keyboard in its size
or layout of keys.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA): A comprehensive federal law that prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services, public accommodations
and services operated by private entities, and telecommunications.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII): Standard for unformatted plain
text which enables transfer of data between platforms and computer systems.

Applet: Computer program that runs from within another application.
Assistive technology: Technology used to assist a person with a disability, e.g., wheelchair,
handsplints, computer-based equipment.

Binary files: Electronic files with formatting information that is software dependent.

Braille: System of embossed characters formed by using a Braille cell, a combination of six dots
consisting of two vertical columns of three dots each. Each simple Braille character is formed by
one or more of these dots and occupies a full cell or space. Some Braille may use eight dots.

Browser: Software designed to access and display information available on the web. Browsers
may be graphical or text-based. Text-only browsers cannot display images, sound clips, video
and plug-in features that graphical browsers can. Talking browsers are also available for use by
people who have difficulty reading text due to a learning disability or visual impairment.

Captioned film or videos: Transcription of the verbal portion of films or videos displayed to
make them accessible to people who are deaf.

Captioning: Text that is included with video presentations or broadcasts that enables people with
hearing impairments to have access to the audio portion of the material.

Closed Circuit TV Magnifier (CCTV): Camera used to magnify books or other materials to a
monitor or television.

Communication device: Hardware that allows a person who has difficulty using their voice
clearly to use words or symbols for communication. May range in complexity from a simple
picture board to complex electronic devices that allow personalized, unique construction of

Compensatory tools: Assistive computing systems that allow people with disabilities to use
computers to complete tasks that they would have difficulty doing without a computer, e.g.,
reading, writing, communicating, accessing information.

Digital: Computer formatted data or information.

Disability: Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life
activities; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment
(Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). Discrimination: Act of making a difference in
treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.

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Facility: All or any portion of a physical complex, including buildings, structures, equipment,
grounds, roads, and parking lots.

FM Sound Amplification System: Electronic amplification system consisting of three
components: a microphone/transmitter, monaural FM receiver and a combination
charger/carrying case. It provides wireless FM broadcast from a speaker to a listener who has a
hearing impairment.

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Hardware: Physical equipment related to computers.

Hearing impairments: Complete or partial loss of ability to hear caused by a variety of injuries or
diseases including congenital defects.

Helper: An external program that can be called up by a web browser to display specially
formatted material, such as word processed documents, spreadsheet documents or video/sound
pieces. The Helper program is launched by the web browser as a separate application to view or
play the file.

Host: Any computer which holds Internet resources for access by others, or the computer that
maintains your Internet access and email account.

HTML validation: Process that analyzes HTML documents identifies HTML errors and non-
standard codes.

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP): Communication protocol used by the web to transfer text,
graphics, audio, and video.

Hyperlink, hypertext: Highlighted word or graphic on a web page that when selected allows the
user to jump to another part of the document or another web page.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): Programming language or code used to create web pages.

Image map: Picture or graphic on a web page in which hyperlinks are embedded.

Invincible Customer: [definition provided] The term coined by Aubrey Evelyn in his book of the
same name.

Input: Any method by which information is entered into a computer.

Internet: Computer network connecting government, education, commercial, other organization
and individual computer systems.

Interpreter: Professional person who assists a deaf person in communicating with hearing people.

Java: Programming language used to create programs or applets that work with some web
browsers to include features with animation or other characteristics not available through
standard HTML.

Joystick: A device consisting of a lever that allows a pointer to move up, right, left, or down and
serves as an alternative to a mouse. It usually includes buttons to enable mouse clicks.

Keyboard emulation: A method of having an alternative device and/or software, such as a
switch-based system, serve the role of a keyboard.

Keyguard: A plastic or metal shield that covers a keyboard with holes over the keys. It allows
use of a keyboard without undesired activation of surrounding keys.

Large print books: Most ordinary print is six to ten points in height (about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch). Large type is fourteen to eighteen points (about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch) and sometimes larger. The format of large print books is also proportionately larger (usually 8 1/2 x 11 inches).

Lynx: Text-based web browser.

Mainstreaming, inclusion: The inclusion of people with disabilities, with or without special
accommodations, in programs, activities, and facilities with their non-disabled peers.

Major life activities: Functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking,
seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and participating in community activities
(Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Mobility impairment: Disability that affects movement ranging from gross motor skills such as
walking to fine motor movement involving manipulation of objects by hand.

Mouse emulation: A method of having an alternative device and/or software, such a switch based
system, serve the role of a mouse.

Multimedia: In terms of electronic information, any data which is presented through several
formats including text, graphics, moving pictures and sound.

Onscreen keyboard: See Virtual Keyboard [1]

Optical character recognition (OCR): Technology system that scans and converts printed
materials into electronic text.

Output: Any method of displaying or presenting electronic information to the user through a
computer monitor or other device.

Peripheral Neuropathy: A condition caused by damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous
system which includes nerves that run from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.

Physical or mental impairment: Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement,
or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological;
musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular;
reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental
or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or
mental illness, and specific learning disabilities (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Plug-in: Separate program written to be launched by a specific web browser to display or run
special elements in web pages, such as animation, video, or audio.

Qualified individual with a disability: An individual with a disability who, with or without
reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural,
communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets
the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or
activities provided by a public entity (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Reader: Volunteer or employee of an individual with a disability (e.g., visual impairment,
learning disability) who reads printed material in person or records to audiotape.
Reading system: Hardware and software designed to provide access to printed text for people
with visual impairments, mobility impairments, or learning disabilities. Character recognition
software controls a scanner that takes an image of a printed page, converts it to computer text
using recognition software and then reads the text using a synthesized voice.

Refreshable Braille Display: Hardware connected to a computer that echoes screen text on a box
that has cells consisting of pins that move up and down to create Braille characters.
Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI): A disability that may be chronic or acute and usually is described
as pain caused by overuse of extremities, usually hands and wrists.

Scanning input: A switch-based method of controlling a computer. Activations of a switch will,
in order, bring up a control panel that upon subsequent switch activations, allow a user to focus
in on a desired control or keystroke. Custom scanning layouts can be created for a variety of
purposes and programs and may also be used in a communication device.

Screen enlargement: Hardware and/or software that increases the size of characters and text on a
computer screen.

Screen reader: Software used to echo text on a computer screen to audio output, often used by
people who are blind, with visual impairments, or with learning disabilities.

Screen resolution: Refers to the clarity or sharpness of an image. For computer monitors, this
term indicates the number of dots on the screen used to create text and graphics. Higher
resolution means more dots, indicating increased sharpness and potentially smaller text.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act: Legislation that requires federal agencies to develop,
procure, and use accessible electronic and information technology.

Sensory impairment: A disability that affects touch, sight and/or hearing.

Server: Any computer that stores information that is available to other users, often over the

Sign language: Manual communication commonly used by deaf. The gestures or symbols in sign
language are organized in a linguistic way. Each individual gesture is called a sign. Each sign has
three distinct parts; the handshape, the position of the hands, and the movement of the hands.
American Sign Language (ASL) is the most commonly used sign language in the United States.
Deaf people from different countries speak different sign languages.

Specific Learning Disability: Disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes
involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in
difficulties listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, or doing mathematical
calculations. Frequent limitations include hyperactivity, distractibility, emotional instability,
visual and/or auditory perception difficulties and/or motor limitations, depending on the type(s)
of learning disability.

Speech impairment: Problems in communication and related areas such as oral motor function,
ranging from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language or use the
oral-motor mechanism for functional speech.

Speech input or speech recognition: A method of controlling a computer and creating text by
dictation. Speech input software is combined with a microphone.

Standard HTML: Version of HTML accessible by all web browsers.

Streaming multimedia: A method of transferring audio and/or video via a network from a server
to an end user's computer. During the transmission, the material is displayed or played on the
target computer.

Switch input: A method of controlling a computer or communication device. It is most often
used with Morse code or scanning methods, but may also be used for controlling household
appliances and related controls. Switches are available in a nearly endless array of sizes, shapes,
and activation methods.

Tag: HTML code that prescribes the structure and formatting of web pages.

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) or Teletypewriter (TTY): A device which
enables someone who has a speech or hearing impairment to use a telephone when
communicating with someone else who has a TDD/TTY. TDD/TTYs can be used with any
telephone, and one needs only a basic typing ability to use them.

Trackball: A mouse alternative that is basically an upside-down mouse. Useful for some people
with mobility impairments because it isolates pointer movement from button clicking.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Open and closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or
more areas, including cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking;
judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior;
physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries
that are congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma.

Universal design: Designing programs, services, tools, and facilities so that they are useable,
without modification, by the widest range of users possible, taking into account a variety of
abilities and disabilities.

Universal design of instruction: The design of instructional materials and activities that make
learning achievable by students with a wide variety of abilities and disabilities.

Universal Resource Locator (URL): Address used to locate a specific resource on the Internet.
DO-IT’s URL is [2].

Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability
which applies to any program that receives federal financial support. Section 504 of the Act is
aimed at making educational programs and facilities accessible to all students. Section 508 of the
Act requires that electronic office equipment purchased through federal procurement meets
disability access guidelines.

Virtual keyboard: Software used to emulate a keyboard. A picture of a keyboard is displayed on
a computer screen and the user points and clicks on the pictures of keys to enter text.

Vision impairments: Complete or partial loss of ability to see, caused by a variety of injuries or
diseases including congenital defects. Legal blindness is defined as visual acuity of 20/200 or
less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or widest diameter of visual field subtending an
angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.

Word prediction: Software that reduces the number of keystrokes needed to type words and
sentences. As characters are entered on either a standard, alternative or virtual keyboard,
suggested completions of the word that has been started are provided to the user.

World Wide Web (web): Hypertext and multimedia gateway to the Internet.

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