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The Accessible Virtual Community

Businesses and Services

Illustration representing Business and Services section of virtual community.

According to population studies, approximately 20% of the population has some type of disability. How do businesses and corporations consider this in their marketing and strategic planning? How can products be developed to be highly usable and accessible to all potential consumers? Here are some key resources. To search for more related information, you can go to our Search Page.

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Access Symbols

This link provides downloadable access symbols, provided copyright free, for closed captioning, descriptive video, and web access.

WGBH website

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Accessible Libraries

This website provides tips and guidelines to make libraries accessible.

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ADA Requirements: Service Animals

This website has updated ADA guidelines, regulations, and rights for people with service animals.

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Advocating the need for accessible gas pumps - Blog

This website advocates about the need for accessible gas pumps. More automotive companies are supplying accessible cars but the need for accessible gas stations are needed to support the increase of accessible cars.

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Applying Universal Design to the Workplace

This three-page fact sheet “offers guidelines for applying universal design in the workplace to address the needs of employees and customers with disabilities”. The fact sheet also discusses the seven principles associated with universal design and how they can be applied to various areas of the workplace. Specific examples are provided.

DBTAC Northwest

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Best Practices Design Guide-Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access

This website focuses on some of the emerging accessibility issues, design parameters that affect sidewalks, street crossing design, and operation. It provides recommendations on how to design sidewalks, street crossings, intersections, shared use paths, and recreational pedestrian trails. (Last updated 2001)

Beneficial Designs, Inc.

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Center for Universal Design: Environments and Products for All People

The Center for Universal Design provides resources to improve environments and products through design innovation, research, education, and design assistance. This webpage lists Center News, Publications, and Programs.

The Center for Universal Design

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Community Health Environment Checklists (CHECs)

This website describes a series of Community Health Environment Checklists or CHECs, which help to describe the accessibility of buildings using the lived experiences of persons with disabilities as a guide. Very quick and easy to administer.

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Guidelines for Creating Accessible Printed Posters

This paper which can be downloaded in PDF format has information on making printed posters. The paper covers using accessible text, using images, poster size and spacing, poster organization, and providing multiple formats.

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Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government

This website contains helpful tips from social media leaders to ensure social media content is accessible to all people, including those with disabilities.

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Inclusive Design: Design for the whole population

In the United Kingdom, the parallel to Universal Design (UD) has been the concept" of inclusive design (ID), seen as a business strategy and design practice. This website of Springer offers portions of a complete publication, lprinted in Great Briitain.

John Clarkson, Roger Coleman, Simeon Keates, Cherie Lebbon - Springer

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IP TV, Remote Control, Set­Top Box, Apps and Programming Guide Accessibility  (Research based)

This PDF discusses the accessibility of IP TV, Remote Control, Set­Top Box, Apps and Programming Guide.

CSUN San Diego, CA

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Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

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Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

"This online publication is designed to help usability professionals, who know User-Centered Design (UCD) processes and techniques, determine how to incorporate accessibility considerations into the product development process, from analyzing and defining user tasks to evaluating products for accessibility and usability. For those not familiar with UCD or accessibility, the first chapter, Background: Accessibility and UCD, provides an introduction and links to resources for more information."

Just Ask, ITTATC Project

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National Center on Universal Design for Learning

This website contains information about universal design for learning, including advocacy, implementation, research, and how to connect with others.

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The Americans with Disabilities Act Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal

This checklist (1995) will help you identify accessibility problems and solutions in existing facilities in order to meet your obligations under the ADA, however may be outdated with regard to specific updates in the law.

Barrier Free Environments, Inc. and Adaptive Environments Center, Inc.

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Tips for Communicating with People who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

A tip sheet for communicating with individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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Universal Design - A Benefit for Business

This website provides information of how universal design can assist a company to attract and keep a diverse workforce and benefit the business.

Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department opf Labor

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Universal Design New York

This is a desktop reference manual which presents common universal design principles from Universal Design New York and offers examples of how to incorporate these ideas into other projects.

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Value of Universal Design in the Workplace  (Research based)

This 17 page research article gives background information regarding universal design in the workplace including social implications and its value from a management perspective. It consists of guidelines for universal design planning in different stages of the process as well as interviews with executives, mangers, and workers. The purpose of the research is to serve as a reference when introducing universal design to offices and other workplaces.

Jobsite Universal Design Study Team & Japan Facility Management Promotion Association

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability