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Georgia Tech Microsite Provides Accessible COVID-19 Info

COVID-19 microsite

A new resource from Georgia Tech's Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI), developed with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CDC Foundation, provides COVID-19 information in accessible formats for people with disabilities. Materials on the site include CDC guidance in the form of braille-ready files, documents compatible with screen readers, American Sign Language resources, simplified text for people with low literacy skills, and more. In addition, materials in embossed braille are available by request.

"CDC is a trusted source for COVID-19 information, but people must be able to access this information for it to be used," commented Judy Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, in a statement. "This project aims to further the reach of that critical information by amplifying and adapting existing content for individuals with disabilities."

In particular, the initiative has created new materials with "minimized text complexity," designed to communicate COVID-19 information at the easiest reading levels possible. "We drew upon several decades of research to create a new set of guidelines to further simplify the Plain English materials the CDC creates," said Karen Erickson, director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a partner institution on the project. "We are delighted by the response we've received as adults with low levels of literacy skills successfully read and understand these materials."

CIDI is also conducting trainings and webinars on COVID and accessibility topics. More content will be added to the microsite as materials are created.

Additional partners on the project include Deaf Link, UNC Chapel Hill's Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and Department of Allied Health Sciences, and the American Association on Health and Disability.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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