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The following is a partial list of the terms and abbreviations that you may come across when researching accessible information and communication technologies, as well as when working with the IT or marketing folks that can help implement these systems in your firm.

Accessibility auditing of website:
Procedures used by web accessibility professionals that determine the level of compliance of a web site to a relevant set of standards or guidelines. In the case of the AODA, the relevant standard is the W3C WCAG 2.0 guidelines. Accessibility audits may include any or all of the following: automated software accessibility checks; manual (human) review of code accessibility and functional usability; informal or formal hands-on accessibility and usability testing by experienced users of assistive technology. Vendors that provide accessibility audits may also offer suggestions for fixing problems, and/or provide actual programming/coding experts to make a website accessible.
Accessible communication:
Communication that is delivered in a way(s) that is easily understood.
Accessible Audio formats (incl DAISY):
Audio content consists of text read aloud, if possible by a professional narrator, but often synthesized by a text-to-speech system. Accessible audio formats include: Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) electronic files or discs; compact discs (CDs) or digital video discs (DVDs) with spoken content; the many electronic audio formats popularized by the Internet and portable audio-devices (e.g. MP3, MP4, etc.); 4-track cassette tape for playback on specialized players, or 2-track cassette tape for playback on common cassette players. and 4-track cassette tape.
Accessible documents:
Accessible "master" files - usually electronic-documents (e.g. word-processing or Web-language files) - that include all the content, as well as all additional supporting information necessary to make the content accessible, understandable and usable when converted into other "Accessible Formats".
Accessible information:
Information that is presented in a format that is easily understood.
Accessible formats:
Providing information or communication in a format that better accommodates an individual who is unable to use the original format."Accessible formats" may include, but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio and electronic formats such as DAISY, braille and other formats usable by persons with disabilities
Accessible information and communication.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
American Sign Language. A language used primarily by persons who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. It utilizes hand positions, gestures, facial expressions and body movements. With its own grammar and syntax it is not a manual translation of the English language.
Assistive listening system:
A device that assists an individual who is hard of hearing. It may be used to compensate for the effects of distance, background noise or poor room acoustics. Types of systems include FM, induction loop, infrared and one-to-one communicators. These use various means of transmitting a signal to the individual who adjusts his or her hearing aid or headset to gain a better hearing experience.
Audible signage:
Signage with the ability to transmit a voice message to persons who are blind or who have vision loss. Most common type is the "Remote Infrared Audible Signage (RAIS)". An audible sign must also provide a visual equivalent for the messages being voiced.
Audio-described videos:
A process where visual elements of a video are described by a narrator. Persons who are blind or have a vision loss are able to follow visual information such as action, gestures, scene changes or text that appear on screen.
A tactile writing system that uses arrangements of raised dots to represent letters and numerals. Uncontracted Braille (sometimes referred to as Type 1 Braille) is a direct transcription of a Braille character for its written equivalent and generally used by beginners. Contracted Braille (Sometimes referred to as Type 2 Braille) makes more efficient use of space and increases reading speed by using a system of contractions.
Braille embosser:
A type of printer connected to a computer that renders text in Braille. Software translates the text into Braille before being sent to the embosser.
Simultaneous transcripts of the audio information.
CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation):
The instantaneous translation of the spoken word into written text using a stenotype machine or notebook computer with realtime software to display text on a laptop computer, monitor or screen.
Closed captioning:
A means of presenting the audible portion of a broadcast in a text format. The audible portion is transcribed into text across the bottom of the screen. A decoder allows for the captioning to be turned on or off unlike open captioning which remains on screen.
Collaboration software:
Types of software that allow people engaged in a common task to work together.
Communication supports:
Devices or practices that facilitate communication. "Communication supports" may include, but are not limited to, captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
Communication system:
A system that provides for the transferring of information between individuals or equipment.
Compliance testing:
A service to evaluate the level of compliance of an organization's policies, practices, systems and/or procedures against any relevant accessibility standards.
Consulting — accessibility consulting — covers a wide range of topics, from management consulting relating to employment and human resources; business cases for inclusive practices; compliance testing and auditing; job accommodation studies; research; and more. If a vendor indicates they provide "consulting" as a service, you should clarify the type(s) of services that they provide.
DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System):
A system that assists individuals who have a print disability. An improvement over audio books, it provides a means of skipping to chapters, using an index and placing bookmarks.
A type of disability where an individual has both a loss of vision and hearing. The term deafblind does not necessarily imply that an individual is completely deaf or blind. In many cases there may be residual hearing or vision.
Described video:
The synchronized verbal description of the visual action - usually interjected in pauses in the audio dialogue.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language):
The authoring language used to build Web pages.
IAS (Integrated Accessibility Standards):
The IAS is the 'Ontario Regulation 191/11' made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. This regulation contains the information and communication standards referred to in this guide. The IAS also contains standards relating to Transportation and Employment.
Information system:
A system that provides any combination of information technology and people's activities using that technology to support operations, management and decision-making.
An individual who acts as a moderator between parties who do not share a common language. Typically, in Ontario an ASL interpreter would moderate between a hearing and deaf individual by translating American Sign Language to spoken English.
Intervenor Services:
An intervenor is a person who acts as a moderator for an individual who is deaf-blind. The intervenor assists with communication and interaction with the environment.
Large print document:
A document that is formatted with text that is larger than what is typically used.
Notetaker services:
A person who, formally or informally, takes notes during meetings, seminars or in a classroom for a person who is unable to prepare their own notes. There is usually a standard of service to deliver the transcribed notes to the client in an accessible format within an agreed number of days.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition):
The recognition of text characters by a computer, a possible solution for quickly creating an electronic version from a printed document.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001.
Open captioning:
Captioning provides a text version of the dialogue and sounds contained in a video. Open captions are permanently displayed on the screen and cannot be turned off, the way that closed captioning can.
PDF (Portable Document File):
A file format that is highly portable across computer platforms.
Plain language:
Use of language that is simple, clear, direct and only uses as many words as necessary. It avoids complicated sentence structures and inflated words. It allows the reader to easily understand and focus on the message.
Point size:
A unit of measurement for font sizes and other small items on a printed page.
Portable assistive listening system:
A type of assistive listening system that can be relocated.
Procurement policy:
A policy that guides how a business will go about sourcing and purchasing items for business use.
Real time LED information screen:
A display to allow information to be instantly delivered. It may be one component of an emergency notification system.
Relay services:
A relay service allows people who are deaf, deafened and hard of hearing or those with speech disabilities communicate with hearing persons (or non-TTY users) by phone with the help of trained operators. Such services hold the conversations between participants in strict confidence.
Sans-serif font:
A style of font such as Arial or Helvetica that does not have the flared extensions (serifs) at the ends of strokes.
Screen reader:
A software application that attempts to interpret what is being displayed on-screen and translate it to a medium such as speech, Braille or sound icons that are more accessible to the user.
Semantic mark-up:
A type of website programming language that provides the foundation for a more accessible website.
Accessible signage includes "Audible signage" and "Tactile signage" as well as visible signage. Signage may be informational (e.g. company names, personal names, etc.); locational (e.g. you are here; where you are, etc.); and directional (e.g. how to get to somewhere else from where you are now.)
Signage design / manufacturing:
A vendor whose service is the design and/or manufacturing of accessible signage to meet the needs of clients.
A language used primarily by persons who are deaf. It utilizes hand positions, gestures, facial expressions and body movements.
Sign language interpretation:
Sign language interpretation is performed by a professional who is able to listen to another person's words, inflections and intent while simultaneously rendering them into the visual language of signs using the mode of communication preferred by persons who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. An interpreter may be used to facilitate conversation between two individuals, or a team of interpreters can be retained to provide continuous interpretation of multiple conversations, as at meetings, seminars or conference sessions.
Sign-language interpreter:
An individual who acts as a moderator between parties that do not share a common language. Typically, in Ontario an ASL interpreter would moderate between a hearing and deaf individual by translating, for example, American Sign Language to spoken English.
Statement of organizational commitment:
A statement that aligns an organization's behaviour towards a set of values, vision and principles. Within the context of this Guide, the values, vision and principles relate to the provision of accessible information and communication systems.
Structured electronic file:
An electronic file that contains formatting information, giving the publisher the freedom to create many types of products.
Tactile information:
Tactile information includes, but is not limited to, the production of braille text and raised lettering that can be read through touch. Tactile graphics are images that use raised surfaces so that a person who is blind or has low vision person can feel them. Visual information such as maps, paintings, graphs and diagrams can be rendered in this way.
Tactile map:
Raised tactile surfaces used to convey information that is contained in a map. Tactile information can also be used for other non-text documents such as graphs, diagrams or artwork.
Tactile signage:
A particular form of accessible signage, tactile signs usually incorporate print text and or visible graphics along with equivalent braille text and/or raised lettering graphics. One common example can be found in many modern elevators: the floor buttons are presented visually, in braille and in raised (tactile) lettering.
TeDUB (Technical Drawings Understanding for the Blind):
A project to design a system to automatically generate descriptions of graphics to allow them to be understood by people unable to access them visually.
Training may entail delivery of fixed programs or customized curricula as required; one-on-one or group training. It can be provided on a customer's-premises, off-site, or via web or computer basedmethods.. While vendors tend to specialize in the types of training they offer, in many cases available expertise may cover a much wider range of issues than the vendor's core business might suggest.
A transcript is a print or electronic record of all words spoken during an event (e.g. a meeting, a conference session, a seminar, etc.). Transcripts can be done live or transcribed later from a recording of the event.
TTY (TDD) (TeleTYpewriter):
A device that allows persons who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing or who have a speech impairment to communicate by typing messages. It allows for a continuous conversation as opposed to individual text messages.
Video description:
The description of key visual elements in a scene (e.g. a TV program, a movie, museum exhibits, etc.) for people who are blind or have low vision. A professional video description is usually scripted by a trained describer and voiced by a professional narrator. On described TV programs, movies and web-based multi-media, the video description track is synchronized with the program's original audio tracks such that the descriptions fit into gaps in the sound track so that the primary content is not obscured.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol):
A technology that allows telephone calls to be made over the internet.
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium):
An international consortium focussed on ensuring the long-term growth of the Web. This committee develops standards and core principles to promote compatibility.
WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative):
An initiative of the W3C to promote the accessibility of the Web for persons with disabilities.
WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications):
Information created by the W3C to guide the creation of accessible dynamic content and user interface components. It helps address barriers such as those encountered by individuals who use screen readers or are unable to use a mouse.
Web design:
Vendors who provide "accessible web design" services go beyond identifying inaccessible features of web pages (web site auditing) to be designing, building and delivering websites that are fully accessible - either as a turnkey-package or by supplying expert accessible design consultanting to an organization's web-development team.
Use of an online service and a television in place of a computer monitor.
WCAG 2.0:
The second version of the WAI's accessibility initiatives published in 2008 following the original guidelines that dated back to 1999.
Web content:
Information provided on a website including, but not limited to, Web pages, documents, videos, audio files, records and archived materials.

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