eCollegeSM Offers Services to Make Online Course Content and Websites Accessible for the Disabled
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.
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. eColleges
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 www.eCollege.com.
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.