A Back to Top

  • (Level Access) Short for ‘‘accessibility’’ (there are 11 letters between ‘‘a’’ and ‘‘y’’).

  • See Accessibility Conformance Report.

API, or Application Programming Interface
  • (Gartner) An interface that provides programmatic access to service functionality and data within an application or a database. It can be used as a building block for the development of new interactions with humans, other applications or smart devices. Companies use APIs to serve the needs of a digital transformation or an ecosystem, and start a platform business model.

  • (Level Access) Accessible Rich Internet Application – additional states and properties added to page content and widgets that provide new or enhanced semantic meaning to elements.

  • (WID.org) The discrimination of and social prejudice against people who are perceived to be disabled, based on the belief that nondisabled people are superior; rooted in the assumption that disabled people require “fixing” and that people by are defined by their disability(ies). Ableism can be unintentional, and can be found in everything from language choices (such as phrases like “falls on deaf ears”) to entire systems (policies, education, agencies, even entire industries).

  • (DIR) The physical or logical capability to view, interact with, or otherwise make use of information resources.

Access barrier
  • (Pearson) An impediment to a learner’s access to full and equitable participation.

Access keys
  • (Accessible360) An HTML attribute implemented to provide keyboard shortcuts to specific parts of a page or to follow certain links. This method is problematic due to way it can create conflicts with user agents. It can, however, offer significant advantages to users of certain types of assistive technology when attempting to interact with different levels of a user interface.

Accessibility (EIR)
  • (DIR) The extent to which a product is functionally usable by people with disabilities. It may involve providing electronic information and services through multiple ways so that communication is not contingent on a single sense or ability. Other terms such as, but not limited to, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) accessibility, Electronic Information Technology (EIT) accessibility, and IT accessibility can be considered interchangeable terms with EIR accessibility.

Accessibility Conformance Evaluation (ACE) tool
  • A searchable online web page which allows stakeholders to examine accessibility conformance for procured Texas A&M resources as well as current university-wide and unit exceptions.

Accessibility Conformance Report
  • (TAC) An accessibility report of an EIR item's compliance with Section 508 that is created using a VPAT template.

  • (TAC) Describes an electronic information resource that can be used in a variety of ways (the use of which) does not depend on a single sense or ability.

Accessible content
  • (Pearson) Web site or web application content that is developed in a way to include additional structure or information that is used by assistive technology to improve the access to and consumption of the content for people with disabilities.

Accessible media player
  • (Pearson) In the case of multimedia content, a user interface that works without a mouse, through speech interface, when the page is zoomed larger, and with screen readers.

  • An alteration of environment, resource format, or equipment that allows an individual with a disability to gain access to content and/or complete assigned tasks. 

  • (makethingsaccessible.com) An expandable widget or component, typically a large button with some text inside it and some identifier such as an arrow or plus icon etc, which when clicked reveals a panel containing some content.

  • (Level Access) Perform the default action on a specific element without regard to the specific method such as with a mouse, keyboard, by voice, etc.

Active element
  • (Level Access) The element which currently has focus.

Adaptive technology
  • (University of Washington) Hardware or software products that provide access to a computer that is otherwise inaccessible to an individual with a disability.

Add tags
  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, a feature in Adobe's Acrobat Professional software, "Add Tags," creates a Tags (Structure) Tree and attempts to create tags in a logical reading order with correct semantics. 

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM)
  • (Federal Register) a formal invitation to participate in shaping a proposed rule and starts the notice‐and‐comment process in motion.

Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
  • (Dept. of Transportation) A law that makes it illegal for airlines to discriminate against passengers because of their disability.

Alt atribute
  • (W3 Schools) The required alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an image, if the image cannot be displayed. The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader).

  • (508) A change to existing ICT that affects interoperability, the user interface, or access to information or data.

Alternate formats
  • (TAC) Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities may include, but are not limited to, Braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio, and electronic formats that comply with Chapter 213 of Texas Administrative Code.

Alternate methods
  • (TAC) Different means of providing information, including product documentation, to people with disabilities. Alternate methods may include, but are not limited to, voice, fax, relay service, TTY, Internet posting, captioning, text-to-speech synthesis, and audio description.

Alternative flow
  • (Level Access) A secondary path a user might take to perform a task in a use case.

Alternative keyboard
  • (University of Washington) A keyboard that is different from a standard computer keyboard in its size or layout of keys.

Alternative text (alt text)
  • Provides a textual alternative to non-text content in web pages, documents, and other digital content.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • (University of Washington) 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.

    (DIR) Title I - Requires employers with more than 15 employees the same opportunities as others in areas such as recruitment, hiring, promotions, pay, training, and social activities. It requires making reasonable accommodations as long as it is not an undue hardship on the employer. 

    Title II - State and local government provide equal opportunities to people with disabilities including public education, employment, recreation, healthcare, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings. (Title II mandates impact public institutions of higher education.)

    Title III - Impacts businesses and non-profits with public accommodations such as private schools and businesses; transportation; event locations; courses and exams related to professional, educational, or trade-related licensing, certifications, and credentialing; and commercial entities such as  factories and warehouses. Title III is frequently applied to websites for businesses with or without brick and mortar locations. 

    Title IV - Governs Telecommunications products like phones and televisions. Interstate and Intrastate services require TTY, TDD, CC, etc.  

  • (Gartner) A small program that runs within an application. Applets are commonly used to make otherwise static web pages more interactive. Examples include animated graphics, games, configurable bar charts and scrolling messages

  • (508) Software designed to perform, or to help the user to perform, a specific task or tasks.

  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, this refers to items on a page, or in a document, that don't really need to be read out loud when someone is using assistive technology to read a document.  While wholly distinct from real content, artifacts may provide relevant information to some users - printed page numbers, for example. Other examples of artifacted content - things that by themselves do not convey relevant information - include the borders around cells in a data table, running headers and/or footers (that repeat on multiple pages), or decorative images.  PDF/UA specifies that conforming software be capable of reporting artifacts to the user.

Artificial Intellegence, or AI
  • (Gartner) Applies advanced analysis and logic-based techniques, including machine learning, to interpret events, support and automate decisions, and take actions

Assistive Technology, or AT
  • (TAC/508) Any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

  • (Level Access) A named property of an element generally with a value.

Audio description
  • (508) Narration added to the soundtrack to describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone. Audio description is a means to inform individuals who are blind or who have low vision about visual content essential for comprehension. Audio description of video provides information about actions, characters, scene changes, on-screen text, and other visual content. Audio description supplements the regular audio track of a program. 

  • (Level Access) A review of your system to determine overall compliance.

Authoring tool
  • (508) Any software, or collection of software components, that can be used by authors, alone or collaboratively, to create or modify content for use by others, including other authors.

Automated testing
  •  (Level Access) Tests which can be run by a computer (or application) with no human help.

B Back to Top

Best practices
  • (Gartner) A group of tasks that optimizes the efficiency (cost and risk) or effectiveness (service level) of the business discipline or process to which it contributes. It must be implementable, replicable, transferable and adaptable across industries.

  • (WID.org) Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. Bias can be conscious or unconscious, which means you may or may not know that you have a bias.

  • (Level Access) Having no usable level of visual perception.

  • (Accessible360) A piece of JavaScript which is embedded in a browser bookmark and can be used as a shortcut to perform a wide variety of complex tasks.

  • (Pearson) A code by which text may be written and read using a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or who have low vision.

C Back to Top

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets
  • (Accessible360) A style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language.

  • See Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibilty Act.

  • (Level Access) On-screen text that is synchronized with dialogue, identifies the speaker, and other sounds (e.g., music, creaking door).

Closed captioning (CC)
  • (Pearson) Captions that can be turned on or off by the user, as opposed to open captions which are always on.

Closed functionality
  • (508) Characteristics that limit functionality or prevent a user from attaching or installing assistive technology. Examples of ICT with closed functionality are self-service machines, information kiosks, set-top boxes, fax machines, calculators, and computers that are locked down so that users may not adjust settings due to a policy such as Desktop Core Configuration.

Cognitive disabilities
  • (Level Access) A range of disabilities that may cause difficulty understanding or performing certain tasks.

Color blindness
  • (Level Access) An inability to distinguish between certain colors.

Commercial-off-the-shelf product
  • (TAC) A software product that is available in the commercial marketplace prior to customization.

Communication device
  • (University of Washington) 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 ideas.

Community inclusion
  • (WID.org) The opportunity to fully be involved in all aspects of society and to contribute and feel a sense of belonging within the world.

Compensatory tools
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Competitive integrated employment
  • (WID.org) Work that is performed at the same rate of pay as employees without disabilities, doing comparable work in a setting that allows for interaction with people with and without disabilities, and which includes opportunities for promotion and increases in pay in alignment with other workers.

  • (Level Access) A formal filing in a court of law that initiates a lawsuit.

  • (Level Access) Adhering to the laws and/or standards.

  • (w3.org) Meeting or satisfying the 'requirements' of a standard; in the WCAG 2.1 standard, the 'requirements' are the Success Criteria. 

Conformance levels (A, AA, AAA)
  • (Pearson) WCAG Level A Success Criteria have a high impact on a broad array of user populations and they usually don’t focus on one type of disability only; Level AA Success Criteria have a high impact but sometimes only specific user populations will be impacted; Level AAA Success Criteria are often focused on improvements for specific user populations and may be difficult or expensive to adhere to, depending on platform limitations. (Texas A&M University strives to adhere to Level AA conformance, which means that Level A and Level AA Success Criteria must be met, without presenting barriers to access.)

  • (508) Electronic information and data, as well as the encoding that defines its structure, presentation, and interactions.

Content Management (CM)
  • (Gartner) A broad term referring to applications and processes to manage web content, document content and e-commerce-focused content.

Content Management System, or CMS
  • (Gartner) A set of templates, procedures and standard format software that enables marketers and their proxies (e.g., webmasters) to produce and manage text, graphics, pictures, audio and video for use in Web landing pages, blogs, document repositories, campaigns or any marketing activity requiring single or multimedia content.

  • A measure of the difference in perceived luminance or brightness between two colors; this brightness difference is expressed as a ratio ranging from 1:1 (e.g., white on white) to 21:1 (e.g., black on a white).

Contrast ratio
  • (Pearson) The ratio between the color of text (or other important visual information) and the color of the background, which must meet minimum ratio levels to ensure legibility for visually-impaired/color blind users.

  • (Level Access) An automated process which catalogs all the reachable pages on a website; also known as spidering.

  • (Gartner) Describes the processes for sourcing a task or challenge to a broad, distributed set of contributors using the Web and social collaboration techniques. (Oftentimes captioning service providers use crowdsourcing in order to generate captions.)

D Back to Top

  • See Document Object Model.

  • (Level Access) Having no usable perception of sound.

Decorative image
  • (Pearson) An image that does not add information or meaning to content, is used for visual interest only, and are exempt from certain accessibility guidelines like as alternative text.

Demand letter
  • (Level Access) A letter stating a legal claim, often sent before a formal complaint is filed, as an attempt to settle out of court.

Department of Information Resources
  • State agency that develops information resource policies and rules for agencies and institutions of higher education within the state of Texas.

Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • (Justice.gov) Oversees Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which requires federal agencies to ensure that their information and communication technology (ICT) is accessible to people with disabilities, unless certain exceptions apply.

Department of Labor (DOL)
  • (DOL.gov) Works to increase the hiring, job success, and career advancement of people with disabilities through the development, adoption and promotion of accessible technology and universal design through its Office of Disability Employment Policy and the PEAT initiative.

Descriptive transcript
  • (Pearson) Includes both audio AND visual information needed to understand the content; descriptive transcripts are required to provide content to people who are both deaf and blind and are also used by people who process text information better than audio and video.

Developer tools
  • (makethingsaccessible.com) A combination of tools available to inspect a website's source code and all frontend assets. Typically, the "dev tools" is a panel that opens within the browser and is accessed by right-clicking anywhere on a page and choosing "Inspect Element" (or similar wording) or by pressing F12. Within the Dev Tools, we can see all of the page's HTML, CSS and JavaScript and we can access accessibility information about the page, tools in various browsers have different options, so it's useful to use them in multiple browsers

Development lifecycle
  • (Level Access) The process of developing a system: planning, creating, testing, deploying, maintaining.

  • (Gartner) The representation of physical items or activities through binary code. When used as an adjective, it describes the dominant use of the latest digital technologies to improve organizational processes, improve interactions between people, organizations and things, or make new business models possible.

  • (ADA) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. (The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.)

Disability bias
  • (WID.org) An unjust perception of disability that is based on stereotypes and/or limited information/misinformation about people with disabilities.

Disability etiquette
  • (WID.org) Polite and appropriate ways to address or interact with people with different disabilities.

  • (508) Logically distinct assembly of content (such as a file, set of files, or streamed media) that: Functions as a single entity rather than a collection; is not part of software; and does not include its own software to retrieve and present content for users. Examples of documents include, but are not limited to, letters, email messages, spreadsheets, presentations, podcasts, images, and movies.

Document Object Model, or DOM
  • (Level Access) The internal hierarchical construct of the content and containers in a web page generated and maintained by a web browser.

Document type definition
  • (Accessible360) A short statement at the beginning of an HTML or XHTML page which informs the user agent what set of rules should be applied on a page.

  • (Level Access) A commercial voice-to-text application, supporting both text input and voice control of software and websites.

Dynamic content
  • (Gartner) Website content that is continually refreshed to provide new or updated information to attract new viewers and to keep prior viewers returning to the site.

E Back to Top

Electronic Health Record (EHR)
  • (Gartner) An electronic health record (EHR) system contains patient-centric, electronically maintained information about an individual’s health status and care, focuses on tasks and events directly related to patient care, and is optimized for use by clinicians. The EHR provides support for all activities and processes involved in the delivery of clinical care.

Electronic and Information Resources
  • (TAC) Includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment used to create, convert, duplicate, store, or deliver data or information. EIR includes telecommunications products (such as telephones), information kiosks and transaction machines, web sites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines. The term does not include any equipment that contains embedded information technology that is used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. For example, thermostats or temperature control devices, and medical equipment that contain information technology that is integral to its operation, are not information technology. If the embedded information technology has an externally available web or computer interface, that interface is considered EIR. Other terms such as, but not limited to, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Information Technology (IT), Electronic Information Technology (EIT), etc. can be considered interchangeable terms with EIR for purposes of applicability or compliance with Chapter 213 of Texas Administrative Code.

Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) development services
  • (TAC) Design, development, and/or programming services that developers provide to enterprises and software publishers.

Electronic and Information Technology, or EIT
  • See Electronic and Information Resources.

Electronic communication
  • (DIR) A process used to convey a message or exchange information via electronic media. It includes the use of electronic mail (email), Internet access, Instant Messaging (IM), Short Message Service (SMS), facsimile transmission, and other paperless means of communication.

Electronic forms (e-Forms)
  • (Gartner) Provide a user interface to data and services, typically through a browser-based interface. E-forms enable users to interact with enterprise applications and the back-end systems linked to them.

  • (Level Access) A single node in the DOM tree.

  • The act of inputting information or data into a form field or similar interface.

  • (WID.org) Varying kinds of support and alternatives are provided so that people who are more marginalized than others receive the same access to opportunity with comparable likelihoods of success.

  • (EDU) All members of our professional communities have access to opportunity and advancement because we have promoted fair treatment and removed barriers that have prevented participation by underrepresented groups.

  • (Pearson) If removed, would fundamentally change the information or functionality of the content, AND information and functionality cannot be achieved in another way that would conform. 

  • (TAC) A justified, documented non-compliance with one or more standards or specifications of Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title, which has been approved by the agency head or the President or Chancellor of an Institution of Higher Education.

  • (TAC) A justified, documented non-compliance with one or more standards or specifications of Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of Title 1, Texas Administrative Code, which has been approved by the Department of Information Resources and which is applicable statewide.

eBook readers (E-readers)
  • (Gartner) Devices that facilitate screen-based reading of books and periodicals. These are devices for which reading is the sole purpose or among the leading uses. E-readers today primarily include black-and-white e-readers using e-ink technology; tablet devices, which offer color, allow access to rich media, and support enhanced eBook content as well as newspapers and magazines; and smartphones, such as the iPhone, and Android- and Windows-based phones.

  • (Gartner) The use of Internet technology for learning outside of the classroom. E-Learning suites are software solutions that enable automation, administration and training over the Internet. E-learning suites are integrated product collections that comprise learning management systems (LMSs), virtual classrooms, courseware and learning content management systems (LCMSs).

F Back to Top

FM sound amplification system
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Field set (tag)
  • (W3 Schools) The <fieldset> tag is used to group related elements in a form. The <fieldset> tag draws a box around the related elements.

  • (Level Access) A control or piece of content that is the current point of interest, that can be read by a screen reader, clicked by a mouse, or manipulated by a keyboard.

Focus indicator
  • (Pearson) A visual indication of the currently selected element on a page, which enables users who are using keyboard access to know their location while navigating content.

Focus order
  • (Pearson) The order in which focusable components of a web page receive focus in a way that preserves meaning and operability. Focus order is usually set programmatically.

Focus state
  • (Accessible360) In CSS, the characteristics displayed when a user focuses on an element using tab and enter keyboard controls.

Form (tag)
  • (Accessible360) The <form> tag is used to create an HTML form for user input. Forms contain all of the elements you would typically see in login forms, registration forms, and the contact us page form.

Functionally accessible
  • (Level Access) When a use case does not conform 100% to accessibility standards but a user is still able to complete the task.

G Back to Top

Gain focus on
  • Keyboard focus moves to a specific element.

Gesture control
  • (Gartner) The ability to recognize and interpret movements of the human body in order to interact with and control a computer system without direct physical contact.

Graphical User Interface, or GUI
  • (University of Washington) Program interface that presents digital information and software programs in an image-based format as compared to a character-based format.

  • (Gartner) A range of gray tones used to create a monochrome image.

Guided automatic test
  • Automatic tests which need verification by a person.

H Back to Top

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
  • (Gartner) A document-formatting language predominately used to create web pages. The user’s browser interprets HTML commands and formats the page layout, fonts and graphics on the screen. One of the more powerful features of HTML is its ability to create hyperlinks that enable the user to navigate between documents and files with a single click.

HTML validation
  • (University of Washington) Process that analyzes HTML documents identifies HTML errors and non-standard codes.

  • (Gartner) A tactile or force-feedback technology that leverages a person’s sense of touch by applying vibrations and/or motion to the user’s fingertips.

Hard of hearing
  • (Level Access) Having limited audio perception.

  • (TAC/508) A tangible device, equipment, or physical component of ICT, such as telephones, computers, multifunction copy machines, and keyboards.

Heading tags
  • (Accessible360) In HTML, <h1> to <h6> tags are used to define headings through semantic markup. This allows creation of content blocks, which break up long paragraphs of information and create an outline of sorts for the content. The tags also allow text to be displayed in unique visual ways and aid assistive technology users when they browse websites. 

  • Describe the content that follows them, much like a news headline, creating an outline for the page like a term paper outline or table of contents; when arriving at a new page, sighted users gravitate toward headings to quickly find what they want on the page, while screen reader and other assistive technology users can also skip from heading to heading.

Hearing impairments
  • (University of Washington) Complete or partial loss of ability to hear caused by a variety of injuries or diseases including congenital defects.

  • (University of Washington) 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.

Home page
  • (TAC) A web page on a state website frequently accessed directly by members of the public, which a state agency or institution of higher education has specifically designed to enable direct access to official agency or institution of higher education information.

Hover state
  • (Accessible360) In CSS, the characteristics displayed when the user moves their mouse over an element such as a button or menu item.

HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP
  • (University of Washington) Communication protocol used by the web to transfer text, graphics, audio, and video.

  • A word or graphic display on a web page or a document that, when selected, gives a user access to another related web page or to a section within the same web page or document. 

I Back to Top

  • (Level Access) Information Technology Industry (Council)

Image map
  • (University of Washington) Picture or graphic on a web page in which hyperlinks are embedded.

Images of text
  • (Pearson) Text that has been rendered in a non-text form (e.g., an image) in order to achieve a particular visual effect.

  • (EDU) All colleagues in our thriving community experience a sense of belonging, high levels of engagement, and shared respect.

Individualized style sheets
  • (Pearson) An assistive tool that allows users to customize the display of web content by writing their own CSS to override a site author’s styles; this is particularly useful for people with low vision disabilities who might need different fonts, font sizes, contrast or other modifications to read more comfortably, and ndividualized style sheets are added to the browser to override the original layout and style.

Information and Communications Technology, or ICT
  • See Electronic and Information Resources.

Information technology
  • (508) Any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, used in the automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information by the executive agency, if the equipment is used by the executive agency directly or is used by a contractor under a contract with the executive agency that requires the use (i) of that equipment; or (ii) of that equipment to a significant extent in the performance of a service or the furnishing of a product. Information technology includes computers, ancillary equipment (including imaging peripherals, input, output, and storage devices necessary for security and surveillance), peripheral equipment designed to be controlled by the central processing unit of a computer, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources. Information technology does not include any equipment acquired by a federal contractor incidental to a federal contract.

  • (University of Washington) Any method by which information is entered into a computer.

Input (tag)
  • (Accessible360) The <input> tag specifies a field where the user can enter data and are typically used within forms. An example would be the areas where you would type your email address and password to log into a website.

Interactive element
  • (makethingsaccessible.com) Part of a web page, app or system that a user can interact with and it "does something". For example, links and buttons are interactive as clicking a link takes you to a new page, and clicking a button does something on the current page. In contrast, static elements such as text and often images provide information but cannot receive action back from a user.

  • (TAC) An electronic communications network that connects computer networks and computer facilities around the world.

  • (TAC) A computer network operating like the Internet but having access restricted to a limited group of authorized users such as employees of an agency or an institution of higher education.

  • (makethingsaccessible.com) A specific type of internal facing company system that normally serves as a central place for important organisational material, such as links through to HR and IT services, policy information, organisational news and other internal content.

J Back to Top

  • (Level Access) A commercial screen reader for Windows primarily used by people who are blind or visually impaired.

  • (Accessible360) One of the most used scripting languages; JavaScript is a client side programming language which can be used with almost all user agents.

  • (University of Washington) 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.

K Back to Top

Key Public Entry Point (KPEP)
  • (TAC) A web page on a state website that is frequently accessed directly by members of the public, which a state agency or institution of higher education has specifically designed to enable direct access to official agency or institution of higher education information; sites originating from KPEPs are deemed priorities for accessibility.

  • (508) A set of systematically arranged alphanumeric keys or a control that generates alphanumeric input by which a machine or device is operated. A keyboard includes tactilely discernible keys used in conjunction with the alphanumeric keys if their function maps to keys on the keyboard interfaces.

Keyboard access
  • (Pearson) The ability to interact with a computer using a keyboard rather than a mouse. Users who have problems with fine motor skills or hand-eye coordination may prefer to use the keyboard to navigate through content. Common keyboard controls include using the Tab and Arrow keys to move from element to element (e.g. hyperlinks, buttons) and Enter/Spacebar to activate them.

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

Keyboard trap
  • (Pearson) A problem that occurs when a user cannot navigate away from particular element/control on a page using keyboard access alone.

  • (University of Washington) 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.

L Back to Top

  • (508) Text, or a component with a text alternative, that is presented to a user to identify content. A label is presented to all users, whereas a name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology. In many cases, the name and the label are the same.

Label (tag)
  • (Accessible360) The <label> tag provides a means of defining with the <input> element. A <label> tag will link with <input> tag, allowing the user to identify the meaning of the <input>. An example would be the text “Email Address” and “Password” beside the inputs in a login form.

Large print books
  • (University of Washington) 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).

Learning disability
  • (Pearson) A condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the level expected of those of the same age, especially when not associated with a physical disability.

Legally blind
  • (Level Access) 20/200 or less vision or less than a 20-degree field of vision in the best corrected eye.

Light sensitivity
  • (Pearson) Extreme sensitivity to light (called photophobia) can cause severe eye pain and headaches for some people. This sensitivity can make it difficult or impossible to read content designed with light or bright backgrounds/color schemes.

Limited mobility
  • (Level Access) Having limited control of the physical body or pain when moving.

  • See Hyperlink.

Long description, or longdesc
  • A HTML attribute (longdesc) that enables a longer piece of alternative text to be added to a non-text element than the alt attribute.

Low vision
  • (Level Access) Having limited visual perception.

M Back to Top

Mainstreaming inclusion
  • (University of Washington) The inclusion of people with disabilities, with or without special accommodations, in programs, activities, and facilities with their non-disabled peers.

Major information resource project
  • (TAC) Any information resources technology project that meets the criteria defined in Texas Government Code §2054.003(10).

Major life activities
  • (University of Washington) 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).

Manual testing
  • (makethingsaccessible.com) The technique of a person or persons who are typically familiar with web accessibility standards and practices, performing a technical audit against a website or application to identify any accessibility issues. Many of the tests performed will will be conducted using various tools and techniques, including but not limited to: assistive technologies, zooming and resizing the browser, user flows, color contrast, keyboard testing, validating alt text, and much more.

Manual testing
  • (Level Access) Tests which require a human to run them.

  • (Gartner) A producer of branded or unbranded finished products.

Math ML
  • (Pearson) A form of XML used to describe the content and structure of mathematical notation on web pages and other documents. Using MathML enables complex equations to be more easily accessible to screen readers, and can help in the creation of alternative text.

  • (508) A set of selectable options.

Mobility impairment
  • (University of Washington) Disability that affects movement ranging from gross motor skills such as walking to fine motor movement involving manipulation of objects by hand.

  • (Level Access) A group of related content and/or controls (e.g., navigation bar or full web page).

Motor impairment
  • (Pearson) Impairments that affect motor control, which refers to the capacity of the body, or of a body part to move, regardless of the goal and intended function of the movement produced.

Mouse emulation
  • (University of Washington) Disability that affects movement ranging from gross motor skills such as walking to fine motor movement involving manipulation of objects by hand.

Mouth stick
  • (Pearson) An assistive device used for typing by some people who experience severe mobility impairments. The mouth stick has a plastic or rubber feature at one end that is inserted into the mouth for controlling the movement, at the other end is a rubber tip for tapping on keyboard keys .

  • (Gartner) Refers to applications and technologies that manipulate text, data, images, sound and full-motion-video objects. Given the usage of multiple formats, multimedia is capable of delivering a stronger and more engaging message than standard text.

N Back to Top

  • (Level Access) A free screen reader for Windows (available through nvaccess.org).

  • (508) Text by which software can identify a component to the user. A name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology, whereas a label is presented to all users. In many cases, the label and the name are the same. Name is unrelated to the name attribute in HTML.

  • (Level Access) Move to a particular page or a particular location on a web page.

Nemeth Braille
  • (Pearson) A Braille code for encoding mathematical and scientific notation linearly using standard six-dot Braille cells for tactile reading by the visually impaired.

Non-web document
  • (508) A document that is not: A Web page, embedded in a Web page, or used in the rendering or functioning of Web pages.

Non-web software
  • (508) Software that is not a Web page, not embedded in a Web page, and not used in the rendering or functioning of Web pages.

  • (Level Access) Likelihood that a given violation will be detected by users of a system.

O Back to Top

  • OGC refers to The Texas A&M University System Office of General Counsel.

Occurence [rate]
  • (Level Access) Measure of how often a particular violation happens within a module.

Office for Civil Rights, or OCR
  • (Level Access) Federal entity responsible for determining discrimination on the basis of disability, which is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; also concerned with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits disability discrimination by public entities, whether or not they receive federal financial assistance.

Open source
  • (Accessible360) A licensing model of software which gives free access to the source code of the software to allow interested parties to modify or contribute to the software as they see fit. This code or software is commonly created as a collaborative project and shared at no cost.

  • (Level Access) From Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG; when a user can operate a user interface or component to perform an interaction.

Operable controls
  • (TAC) A component of a product that requires physical contact for normal operation. Operable controls include, but are not limited to, mechanically operated controls, input and output trays, card slots, keyboards, and keypads.

Operable part
  • (508) Hardware-based user controls for activating, deactivating, or adjusting ICT.

Optical Character Recognition, or OCR
  • (Level Access)  Technology which attempts to convert an image of text into usable text characters that can be read by a screen reader.

  • (University of Washington) Any method of displaying or presenting electronic information to the user through a computer monitor or other device.

  • (Level Access) JavaScript that remediates accessibility issues on page load (this is not an ideal method of making web pages accessible but may be a stop-gap measure as accessibility issues are remediated).

P Back to Top

  • (Level Access) From Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG; content and controls must be presented in a way that is not invisible to all of a person’s senses.

Peripheral neuropathy
  • (University of Washington) 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
  • (University of Washington) 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 intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Physical or mental impairment
  • (University of Washington) 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 intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Physical view
  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, this refers to how the content is displayed visibly on the page.  The physical view strongly influences how someone looking at a document will read it.  Generally speaking, in most languages, we'd read the page from left to right and from the top to the bottom.

Plain language
  • (WID.org) A style of communication that prioritizes easy-to-read, concise, and clear information; particularly helpful for people with cognitive and learning disabilities. Like many other universal design practices, plain language also benefits many non-disabled people to better understand the information provided.

Platform accessibility services
  • (508) Services provided by a platform enabling interoperability with assistive technology. Examples are Application Programming Interfaces (API) and the Document Object Model (DOM).

Platform software
  • (508) Software that interacts with hardware or provides services for other software. Platform software may run or host other software, and may isolate them from underlying software or hardware layers. A single software component may have both platform and non-platform aspects. Examples of platforms are: Desktop operating systems; embedded operating systems, including mobile systems; Web browsers; plug-ins to Web browsers that render a particular media or format; and sets of components that allow other applications to execute, such as applications which support macros or scripting.

  • (University of Washington) 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.

  • (Gartner) The corporate function that has governance over purchasing decisions for a company. Activities of the procurement function include strategic vendor evaluation and selection, competitive bidding, contract negotiation and purchasing. 

Programmatically determinable
  • (508) Ability to be determined by software from author-supplied data that is provided in a way that different user agents, including assistive technologies, can extract and present the information to users in different modalities.

Public facing
  • (508) Content made available by an agency to members of the general public. Examples include, but are not limited to, an agency Web site, blog post, or social media pages.

Q Back to Top

Qualified individual
  • (ADA) An individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires. Consideration shall be given to the employer's judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, this description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job.

Quality Assurance, or QA
  • (Level Access) The process of reviewing and testing a product or new feature before releasing it to the public. (QA also factors in to course design in higher education.)

R Back to Top

  • (University of Washington) 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 order
  • (Pearson) The order in which a screen reader reads content on a page. Note that the reading order is not always the same as visual order. The reading order is important in terms of navigation, since screen reader users use keyboard commands to navigate around the content.

Reading order (Logical reading order)
  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, this is the order in which assistive technologies, like screen readers or refreshable braille displays, present the content in a PDF. This order is determined by the tags in the tags (atructure) tree. Ideally, the reading order closely (or identically) matches the Pphysical view so that someone using assistive technology gets the same information in the same sequence as someone who is visually looking at a document. A key component of PDF accessibility, the reading order is determined by the tags in the tags (atructure) tree.

Reading system
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Real-time captions
  • (Pearson) Real-time captions, or Computer Assisted Real-time Translation (CART), are created as an event takes place. A captioner (often trained as a court reporter or stenographer) uses a stenotype machine with a phonetic keyboard and special software. A computer translates the phonetic symbols into captions almost instantaneously and displays them on a laptop or on a large display screen. 

Real-time text
  • Communications using the transmission of text by which characters are transmitted by a terminal as they are typed. Real-time text is used for conversational purposes. Real-time text also may be used in voicemail, interactive voice response systems, and other similar application.

Refreshable Braille display
  • (Level Access) A device often controlled by a screen reader that translates on-screen or electronic text into refreshable Braille characters.

Regression testing
  • (Level Access) Testing that a remediation has been successful and has not introduced new bugs.

  • (Level Access) Fixing issues discovered by testing.

Repetitive Stress Injury, or RSI
  • (University of Washington) A disability that may be chronic or acute and usually is described as pain caused by overuse of extremities, usually hands and wrists.

Responsive design
  • (Pearson) An approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading style sheet media queries. The goal of responsive design is to build web pages or applications that detect the visitor's screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

  • (Level Access) Implementing fixes in an existing system.

Revised 508 standards
  • (508) The standards for ICT developed, procured, maintained, or used by agencies subject to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as set forth in 508 Chapters 1 and 2 (36 CFR part 1194, Appendix A), and Chapters 3 through 7 (36 CFR part 1194, Appendix C).

Rich media
  • (Accessible360) Internet technology involving interactivity animation or other special effects. A common source of accessibility issues due to the lack of alternative text on a web page.

  • (Level Access) From Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG; content must remain usable as technologies advance.

  • (Level Access) an indicator of type or function (e.g., button, checkbox)

S Back to Top

  • (Level Access) Software Development Lifecycle; see “development lifecycle.”

Scanning input
  • (University of Washington) 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 magnifier
  • (Level Access) Software that enlarges the content and provides visual cues to navigate.

Screen reader
  • (Level Access) Software that reads screen content out loud, often drives a refreshable Braille display, and allows navigation by keyboard.

Screen resolution
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO
  • The process of making certain a website appears as high as possible on the list of results returned by a search engine, in order to maximize the volume and quality of website traffic.

Section 1557
  • Part of the Affordable Care Act which relates to digital accessibility.

Section 255
  • Part of the Communications Act which relates to telecommunications accessibility.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • (University of Washington) Legislation that requires federal agencies to develop, procure, and use accessible electronic and information technology.

Section 508 standards
  • (TAC) The technical standards established by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, 29 U.S.C. §794(d), 36 C.F.R. §1194.1, established by the federal Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the "Access Board") that apply to electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government, including computer hardware and software, websites, phone systems, and copiers. The Section 508 standards were issued to implement Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 794(d)), which requires access for both members of the public and federal employees to such technologies when developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies.

Self-contained, closed products
  • (TAC) Products that generally have embedded software and are commonly designed in such a fashion that a user cannot easily attach or install assistive technology. These products include, but are not limited to, information kiosks and information transaction machines, copiers, printers, calculators, fax machines, and other similar products.

Semantic markup
  • (Pearson) The use of HTML markup to ensure content is identified by its meaning as opposed to just its appearance. Semantic markup enables screen readers to more accurately and usefully interpret the content of web pages.

  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, semantics define the purpose of content in terms of its relationship to other content.  For example, headings are often used to define sections of a document for organizational purposes - like chapters in a book. Lists, whether ordered (with numbers) or unordered (with bullets) will have a certain number of list items.  Data tables will be constructed with a number of rows, each row containing headers (column or row headers) and/or data. PDF/UA requires that the most "semantically appropriate" tag be used for the content. This means, for example, that if a list appears visually on a page it should be tagged as a list in the tags (structure) tree.

Sensory impairment
  • (University of Washington) A disability that affects touch, sight and/or hearing.

Sensory language
  • (Pearson) The use of shape, size, color, position or orientation to give the reader a visual image or layout to help describe controls or provide directions.

  • (University of Washington) Any computer that stores information that is available to other users, often over the Internet.

  • (Level Access) Measure of how large an impact a best practice violation will have on the user expe.nce

Sign language
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Sip and puff
  • (Level Access) A device that allows someone with very limited mobility to operate technology via air pressure from their mouth.

Site policies page
  • (TAC) A web page containing the website policies of the state agency or institution of higher education, or a link to each policy.

  • (508) Programs, procedures, rules, and related data and documentation that direct the use and operation of ICT and instruct it to perform a given task or function. Software includes, but is not limited to, applications, non-Web software, and platform software.

Software tools
  • (508) Software for which the primary function is the development of other software. Software tools usually come in the form of an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and are a suite of related products and utilities. Examples of IDEs include Microsoft® Visual Studio®, Apple® Xcode®, and Eclipse Foundation Eclipse®.

Specific Learning Disability
  • (University of Washington) 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
  • (Level Access) A range of disabilities ranging from no speech to difficulty speaking clearly.
    (University of Washington) 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
  • (University of Washington) A method of controlling a computer and creating text by dictation. Speech input software is combined with a microphone.

Speech-to-text, or STT
  • (Pearson) The translation of spoken words into text. It is also known as automatic speech recognition or computer speech recognition.

  • (Level Access) a process which catalogs all the reachable pages on a website (aka “crawling”).

State website
  • (TAC) A website that is connected to the Internet and is owned, funded, or operated by or for a state agency or institution of higher education, including key public entry points.

Streaming multimedia
  • (University of Washington) 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.

  • (Level Access) Hierarchy of content, usually created with headings and subheadings.

  • (Pearson) On-screen text for videos/animations provided for (hearing) users who do not understand the language of the dialogue being spoken. Note that subtitles are different from captions, which are intended for deaf/hard-of-hearing users.

Success criteria
  • (Pearson) For each guideline, testable success criteria are provided to allow WCAG 2.0 to be used where requirements and conformance testing are necessary such as in design specification, purchasing, regulation, and contractual agreements. In order to meet the needs of different groups and different situations, three levels of conformance are defined: A (lowest), AA, and AAA (highest).

Support statement
  • (Level Access) Document outlining a product’s support of the WCAG success criteria.

Switch access/control
  • (Level Access) Buttons with large targets that allow a person with limited mobility to operate a device.

Switch input
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Synchronized caption file
  • (Pearson) A caption file, containing all of the speech and non-speech audio information needed to understand the media content, that includes time coding in order to synchronize the caption text with the audio content.

T Back to Top

  • (508) Equipment that enables interactive text based communications through the transmission of frequency-shift-keying audio tones across the public switched telephone network. TTYs include devices for real-time text communications and voice and text intermixed communications. Examples of intermixed communications are voice carry over and hearing carry over. One example of a TTY is a computer with TTY emulating software and modem.

Tab index
  • (Accessible360) An HTML attribute which defines the order in which links should be followed when using the “tab” key to navigate a web page.

  • (makethingsaccessible.com) Refers to the control by which keyboard and screen reader users move through interactive elements of a web page, app or system. These users press the tab key to move through all interactive elements, and there are other controls for moving through just links or buttons. 

Tactile graphic
  • (Pearson) Print images are represented in tactile form for readers who are blind or visually impaired. Tactile graphics are used to convey non-textual information such as maps, graphs, and diagrams. They are produced using a braille embosser, microcapsule paper, or hand produced by collage and/or tooling.

  • (University of Washington) HTML code that prescribes the structure and formatting of web pages.

Tagged PDF
  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, a "tagged PDF" includes elements that organize (establish the reading order) and characterize (use semantics in) the PDF's content for reuse (for example, by assistive technology).

  • (Level Access) Process by which a PDF is made accessible to screen readers by providing semantic information and structural hierarchy to the content of the PDF.

  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, these are the "branches" and "leaves" of the tags tree. In a PDF, tags are the fundamental mechanism by which content is made accessible.

Tags (structure) tree
  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, every tagged PDF includes a tags (structure) tree containing tags that define the reading order and establishes the semantics of content in the document.

Tags panel
  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, Adobe Acrobat Professional includes a "tags panel" which allows the user to verify and manage the reading order of the PDF's real content.

  • (Level Access) A free screen reader for Android devices.

Technical accessibility standards and specifications
  • (TAC) Accessibility standards and specifications for Texas agency and institution of higher education websites and EIR set forth in Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213, Title 1 of Texas Administrative Code.

  • (TAC) The transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received. (508) The signal transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.

  • (508) Device or software with which the end user directly interacts and that provides the user interface. For some systems, the software that provides the user interface may reside on more than one device such as a telephone and a server.

  • (508) A sequence of characters that can be programmatically determined and that expresses something in human language.

Text alternative
  • (Pearson) Text Alternative (not to be confused with Alternative Text or “alt-text”) is additional text that is provided to convey the same information that is presented by non-text content (e.g., tables, charts, applets, media files, etc.). Providing a text alternative also allows screen readers to convert the text into speech output. Additionally, having the information in text also makes it possible to translate the information into braille, sign language, pictures, or a simpler form of writing.

Text-to-speech, or TTS
  • (Pearson) A form of speech synthesis that converts text into spoken voice output. Text to speech systems were first developed to aid the visually impaired or learning disabled by offering a computer-generated spoken voice that would "read" text to the user.

Third-party vendor
  • Any business entity that has a relationship with an organization to provide products or services directly to them or to the organization's customers on their behalf. This should not be confused with the manuacturer (see definition).

Touch Up Reading Order Tool (TUROT)
  • (commonlook.com) In PDF remediation, Adobe Acrobat Professional includes this tool to facilitate modification of the tagging and reading order on a PDF page.

  • (University of Washington) 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.

  • (Level Access) Estimated costs of fixing violations in accordance with best practices.

  • (Pearson) A text-based alternative to audio/video content that enables deaf/hard-of-hearing users to access the content.

  • (Level Access) Creating a document which contains the same dialogue including indication of speakers and other information as a video or audio clip.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)
  • (Federal Communications Commission) An act which updated federal communications law to increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications. The CVAA makes sure that accessibility laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s are brought up to date with 21st century technologies, including new digital, broadband, and mobile innovations.

U Back to Top

UAT, or User Acceptance Testing
  • (Level Access) Testing performed by a client on a supplier’s product or content before the client accepts that product or content.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
  • (Gartner) The character string that identifies an Internet document’s exact name and location.

  • (Level Access) From Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG; the information and operation must be easily comprehensible.

Universal Design
  • (University of Washington) 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.

  • Web design criteria which support user performance, ease of navigation and understandability.

Use case
  • (Level Access) A task a user can do in your system (e.g., create new account).

User agent
  • (Level Access) A browser or similar piece of technology which converts web page content from technical languages (e.g., HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) to a format with which a user can interact (usually a visual webpage).

User agent string
  • (Level Access) An identifier sent by a browser with each request that includes basic information like browser name, version, and operating system.

User experience (UX)
  • (WID.org) The entire interaction with a product or service, including how the person using it feels about the interaction. Includes how well the user can navigate the product, how easy it is to use, and how relevant the content is.

User experience testing, or UX testing
  • (WID.org) A process to check the usability of a product or service for different people who may use it.

V Back to Top

VPAT, or Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
  • (TAC) A vendor-supplied form for a commercial off-the-shelf Electronic and Information Resource (EIR) used to document its compliance with technical accessibility standards and specifications. (The template was created by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).

Validation testing
  • (Level Access) Testing that a remediation has been successful and has not introduced new bugs.

  • Individual or entity who has a contract with the university to provide goods or services for compensation. This term excludes contract employees.

Virtual keyboard
  • (University of Washington) 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 impairment
  • (Pearson) Blindness or low vision are types of visual impairments, not necessarily limited to distance vision. Low vision applies to all individuals with sight who are unable to read the newspaper at a normal viewing distance, unable to be improved with corrective lenses or surgery.

Visual indication of keyboard focus
  • (Level Access) A box shown on the display that contains the currently focused content or control.

Visually customizable
  • (Pearson) The font, size, color, and background can be set.

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP
  • (DIR) A methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. Other terms commonly associated with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service.

  • (Level Access) The process of converting a user’s speech into navigation or typed words.

  • (Level Access) A free screen reader included on MacOS and iOS devices.

W Back to Top

  • World Wide Web Consortium; an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.

  • (Pearson) Web Accessibility Initiative: Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) is a technical specification developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to increase the accessibility of web pages, particularly those that feature rich interactive content and user interface components.

WAVE tool
  • (makethingsaccessible.com) The Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool is a browser plug-in developed by WebAIM and is a semi-automated accessibility testing tool. WAVE can help developers, content editors, and other stakeholders identify a range of accessibility issues on a per-page basis, testing for invalid code, missing roles or attributes, color contrast, and much more.

WCAG, or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • (DIR) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines; part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. They are a set of guidelines that specify how to make content accessible, primarily for people with disabilities—but also for all user agents, including highly limited devices, such as mobile phones.

  • (Gartner) The hypertext-based global information system technically defined as the community on the Internet where all documents and resources are formatted using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). HTML, and the related Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP), make it easy to find and view data and documents stored on computers connected to the Internet. HTML creates the links (“hyperlinks”) that enable the user to move among many Web documents with the click of a mouse.

Web page
  • (TAC) Presentation of state website content, including documents and files containing text, graphics, sounds, video, or other content, that is accessed through a web browser.
    (508) A non-embedded resource obtained from a single Universal Resource Identifier (URI) using HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) plus any other resources that are provided for the rendering, retrieval, and presentation of content.

  • (Gartner) A collection of files accessed through a web address, covering a particular theme or subject, and managed by a particular person or organization. Its opening page is called a home page. A website resides on servers connected to the web network and is able to format and send information requested by worldwide users 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Websites typically use HTML to format and present information and to provide navigational facilities that make it easy for the user to move within the site and around the web.

White space
  • (Pearson) White space, or negative space, refers to any empty space between text, images and other site content. White space is not always white; it may be another color, depending on the background color used.

  • (Accessible360) A small application installed and used on websites. Each widget has varying amount of purposes. An example of a widget is a small, email newsletter signup form, or third-party live chat functionality.

Word prediction
  • (University of Washington) 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.

Worldwide Web Consortium
  • (Gartner) A nonprofit group based in the U.S. that develops and recommends standards for the web.

Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1
  • (TAC) A referenceable, international technical standard containing guidelines organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA. 

X Back to Top

XML, or Extensible Markup Language
  • (Accessible360) A generic format intended for maximum flexibility to provide information in a wide variety of structural formats.

XSL, or Extensible Stylesheet Language
  • (Accessible360) A language that describes the formatting and presentation of XML content.

Z Back to Top

  • (Level Access) A commercial application that allows users to magnify content on their screen and/or change foreground and background colors to achieve more contrast.