Disability Glossary

The definitions for these terms mostly come from public documents and standards. Let us know how we can improve the definitions and the utility of this glossary. Thank you.

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A text only version of what’s said in a movie or television program; they are not real time and they generally are limited to speech only; they are not a recommended substitute for captions.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as audits the use of…

Universal Insurance Model for Disability

Disability can touch anyone. The current disability funding model is based on pity, not belief in the value that disabled people provide to society. We must move to a collective insurance model where disability is funded as a form of collective insurance where eligibility is based on need, not poverty. Related topics: Subminimum wage Marriage…


Refers to how easily, effectively, and efficiently people, including people with disabilities, can use a product or system to achieve their goals, and how satisfied they are with the experience. The definition can be extended to user experience, covering a more subjective quality of enjoyment.

Visual Focus

Where the user’s focus is on a Web page; generally represented by a dashed box that appears around items on the page and associated with tabbing.

Voice recognition (or speech recognition)

A software application that enables a computer to accept voice commands. This allows for little or no use of the keyboard and mouse.

Voting Accessibility

More than 35 million Americans with disabilities are eligible to vote in the United States. This accounts for a broad range of disabilities, including mobility, communicative, physical and cognitive impairments. The EAC has a strong commitment to working with both election officials and voters with disabilities to ensure that the election process, polling places and…

Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act

The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 generally requires polling places across the United States to be physically accessible to people with disabilities for federal elections. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, a political subdivision must provide an alternate means of casting a ballot on…

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to…

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including accommodations for blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these, and…