eCollegeSM Offers Services to Make Online Course Content and Websites Accessible for the Disabled

March 27, 2002

DENVER – March 25, 2002 – eCollegeSM [Nasdaq: ECLG], the leading provider of technology

and services for online higher education programs, today announced it is offering

services to evaluate and upgrade an institution’s online course content and websites

to meet Section 508 federal accessibility guidelines, which require an institution’s

electronic and information technology be accessible to the disabled.

eCollege AUSM, the next generation of the company’s leading eLearning platform

released in December, already exceeds Section 508 standards by providing unprecedented

levels of accessibility and usability for blind, deaf and mobility-impaired

faculty and students. These new Section 508 compliant services are designed

to make an institution’s own content, including multimedia, accessible.

"These new services are a natural progression from our reengineered products

and services built to support superior levels of accessibility," said Oakleigh

Thorne, chairman and CEO of eCollege. "Under the Rehabilitation Act, many

institutions are required to comply with Section 508, or they run the risk of

civil liability. We have again gone above and beyond the minimum requirements

with this proactive effort to help institutions comply with federal guidelines,

making all of their eLearning content, and all of their websites in general,


eCollege can evaluate and upgrade content within courses and websites it has

developed, and generally those it has not developed. A team of course developers,

technical consultants and instructional designers experienced in industry standards,

guidelines and assistive technologies perform the Section 508 compliant services

evaluations and upgrades.

The evaluation entails a physical assessment to determine:

  • The content that conforms and does not conform to Section 508 standards.
  • Recommendations for bringing non-compliant content into compliance and next


The upgrade consists of executing the recommendations made in the evaluation


  • The development of code to make all content, including multimedia, compliant.
  • The documentation confirming that the content within the course/website

    is readable by leading screen readers such as JAWS and Window-Eyes, as well

    as accessible through closed-captioning text.

  • In addition to advancing its teaching platform and support services to exceed

    accessibility standards, the company has initiated the following activities:

  • eCollege recently started an internship program with the Colorado Center

    for the Blind, an affiliate of the National Center for the Blind, where members

    of the organization are getting involved in eCollege’s software development

    and support services.

  • Through its participation in the federal "Buy Accessible" program,

    eCollege is able to help its customers qualify for RFPs that require Section

    508 compliant offerings.

About eCollege

eCollege [Nasdaq: ECLG] is the leading eLearning technology and services provider

to educational markets. eCollege designs, builds and supports high quality online

degree, certificate/diploma and professional development programs for colleges,

universities, school districts and state departments of education. eCollege’s

clients include such institutions as National University; Seton Hall University;

University of Colorado; DeVry University, Inc.; Kentucky Virtual High School;

and Microsoft Faculty Center. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered

in Denver. For more information, visit

This news release contains "forward-looking statements"

within the meaning of the securities laws. These statements are based on management’s

current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks.

Actual results may differ materially. Important factors that could cause actual

results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in the

forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, changes or amendments

to applicable federal, state and local laws; the general downturn in the U.S.

economy; the possibility that the Company may not be able to achieve continued

growth or maintain current levels of revenue; substantial and increasing competition

in the online education market; future technological advances by our competitors;

and such other factors as are discussed in our most recent Form 10-K Annual

Report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"),

which you are encouraged to review in connection with this release. We believe

that these forward-looking statements are reasonable, however, you should not

place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current

expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. We are not obligated

to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events

after the date of this release.

eCollege and eCollege AU are service marks of eCollege. All

other trademarks and service marks or registered trademarks or service marks

are the property of their respective owners.