Unwebbing Web Accessibility in Higher Ed: Its More than Just Web Pages Kara Zirkle, Accessible Technology Specialist Summary When people talk about accessibility most people automatically think Websites. When people hear web accessibility they usually think blind or low vision. Accessibility is far more complex than just websites and a single disability. What exactly does Web Accessibility look like? Design IT Training
Videos Textbooks Un-Webbing the Web of Accessibility into an Enterprise Inclusion Breakdown of areas involving accessibility; Face-to-face classroom accommodation vs online course accessibility Assistive Technology vs accessibility
Informational Technology Procurement Websites Applications Video Documents Understanding needs Offering choices to meet needs Working across functions 4 How Does Everything Tie Together? Assistive Technology Accommodation Electronic
Information Technology Equal Access for Everyone! It doesnt matter where you start your focus, it is a continuation cycle that constantly helps build an accessibility infrastructure. Accessibility/ Universal Design Web-based Information (videos, web, LMS, docs, teaching,
Testingbooks, etc.) Procurement Course Accessibility: Face-to-Face vs. E-Learning/ Distance Face-to-Face E-Learning/Distance Accommodations are given on individual basis Courses that are using online components fall under Web Accessibility standards (Distance Education, hybrid, use of Learning Management Systems, etc.) Students must self disclose to receive
academic accommodations in the classroom Should be accessible out the box and self disclosure is needed for academic accommodations Physical Classroom accessibility Application accessibility is a must for class participation Accommodation vs Assistive Technology Accommodations is what is needed for a student to achieve. Assistive Technology can sometimes be considered an accommodation. Assistive Technology though will not always be helpful in providing the full accommodation if the interface of whatever software or web application/hardware is not designed to the standards to be accessible.
Accessible Technologies What are they and how do we ensure its accessible? Informational Technology Procurement Websites Applications Video Documents Laying the Foundation: Building an Accessible Institution 10 What We Know... Disability Rates in Higher Education Increasing # of SWDs enrolling in
higher education (U.S. GAO, 2009). Greater variation in types of disabilities reported (Digest of Education Statistics, 2011). SWDs have lower participation and completion rates in higher education than their nondisabled peers (Mamiseishvili & Koch, 2011). Existing strategies for supporting SWDs in higher education rooted in medical model (Burgstahler, 2012). Growing Role of Online Learning in Higher Education Increasing role of online learning in higher education (Allen & Seaman, 2013). Increasing adoption of newer and more innovative EIT (Kim, 2011).
Inaccessible EIT can adversely impact the ability of a SWD to access course content (Bhler, Fisseler, & others, 2007; Fichten, Asuncion, Barile, Ferraro, & Wolforth, 2009). Growing number of legal challenges against higher education institutions for implementing inaccessible EIT Best Practices in EITA Recent legal actions against higher education institutions related to the inaccessibility of information technology (IT) can serve to inform higher education institutions as to best practices and strategies for providing accessible IT in accordance with federal legislation. The following promising practices are among those suggested by resolution agreements and settlements: Conduct an audit of the accessibility of IT, and develop a corrective action strategy to address problems identified in the audit.
Set institutional standards relating to accessible technology and create a method to monitor compliance. Provide training and education about accessibility to anyone on campus who is responsible for creating or procuring IT, as well as those responsible for creating content. Institute procedures for addressing accessibility as a requirement within the procurement process. Provide and publicize a mechanism by which students, faculty, staff, and members of the public can report access barriers. No Stone goes Unturned Definition of Accessible OCR resolutions with the South Carolina Technical College System, University of Cincinnati and Youngstown State, all define accessible as follows: Accessible means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same
services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. List of Topic Areas Covered, but not limited to .. Accessibility Audit and Corrective Action Strategy Policy Training and Education Procurement Websites Learning Management Systems Classroom Technologies (Podiums, Display Equipment, and Clickers) Banks and ATMs Grievance Procedure Captioning
(My personal favorite) Ownership of Accessibility Identify your Strategic Partnerships Start with the obvious! How many students and faculty are registered with disabilities? What general support services do students and staff maximize overall? (Libraries, Writing or Tutoring Center, etc.) What offices are academic units are a MUST for students or staff to access? (Registrar, Admissions, HR, etc.) What groups design course, websites, other technology used throughout the school? (IT, Distance Education, Instructional Designers, Communications and Relations, Marketing, etc.) Getting on the schedule of Key Authority Administration (The Decision Makers and Money Shakers) Establishing a Framework Budget/Prioritization Where is the money coming from?
Whose managing the service? How are you staffing the service? Disability Services ADA Coordinator HR IT Infrastructure? Investing in Online Learning or Focus is F2F Learning? Consider using E-Learning to cover all aspects - Platforms (e.g., Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Canvas, etc.) Built-in tools (e.g., UDoIT by UCF)
Develop policies and procedures IT Accessibility, Procurement Procedures for various services (Accessible Text, Media, Web, Purchasing, Grievance, etc.) How will you handle outside policy and procedures such as Libraries, Bookstore, etc.? Customizing a Framework 1. Setting an Institutional Goal Getting Top Approach Buy In; 2. Set Specific Technical Standards Section 508, WCAG 2.0, etc. areas that it covers; 3. Involve Accessibility in Procurement New purchases and renewal contracts of existing purchases; 4. Continuing Coordination of EIT with Stakeholders Ensuring communication and training across all levels; 5. Ensuring Compliance Identify measurable, track, test, repeat! 6. Provide Notice - Improvement, Remediation, Grievance,
etc. 16 Equal and Accessible Education Where does it apply to you? Online courses Use of applications whether on a University level or in the classroom For example: Blackboard, Canvas, Piazza, Banner, etc. Face-to-Face Courses that use online resources For example: McGraw Hill, Pearson, Survey Applications, etc. Websites For example: Drupal, Word Press, 3rd Party Services Website Content For example: Documents, Videos, etc.
Online and Desktop Applications Library Databases Roles and Responsibilities Roles CIO Deans and Directors Managers Developers Content Managers Instructional Designers Library Staff Administrative Staff Teaching Faculty Responsibilities What tools do you have in your
toolbox that help build accessibility into responsibilities you already have? Roles and Responsibilities It is never just one persons job to ensure accessibility Accessibility Support helps to outline roles and responsibilities within accessibility. An Accessibility Group, Guidelines, Consistent Communication with Key
Stakeholders, etc. Upper Management support. Defined requirements through policy and procedure. Overall support of an Accessibility Plan. Hands-on Individuals (Developers, Content
Managers, etc.) need consistent communication to create accessible projects . Tea chi n gF acu lty and Sta
ff Roles and Responsibilities: How are you involved with accessibility? Do you use a Learning Management System (LMS)? Do you use websites in class or for posting information? Do you create or post documents or videos online for class? Do you use technology (i.e., wikis, etc.) for your class assignments? Do you use visuals or play audio/video in the classroom that give important info pertaining to the class? Do you use webinars, or other
classroom capture or conference technology or record your class for review? Roles and Responsibilities: How are you involved with accessibility? Ad min istr ativ e Sta ff When overseeing or working on
projects do you integrate accessibility into the planning process? Do you train your staff on accessibility so it comes from a top-down approach? Do you influence or decide on technology purchases, if so have you considered accessibility? Do you oversee computer classroom settings, is it accessible? Do you develop Policies, procedures or guidelines for you offices or employees? If so, have you included accessibility? When creating committees, have you included someone from the Accessibility group to support you?
IT P rof ess io nal s Roles and Responsibilities: How are you involved with accessibility? Do you influence or decide on technology purchases? Do you develop websites, applications or documents? Do you oversee computer classroom settings? Do you manage others who may work on
the above mentioned? Do you work in multimedia or telecommunications? Do you use or help faculty use webinars, other classroom capture or conference technology? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you may be .. Posting, Distributing, Creating/Developing,
Using, Maintaining Inaccessible Information. What can you do to make it accessible? Working Together Understanding the people you work with, the hurdles in which they may run into and finding common solutions that benefit multiple areas.
Accessibility Mobile Design SEO Universal Design ESL Setting Priorities Starting somewhere is the hardest part! Begin adding accessibility training into course design, reviewing courses for accessibility. New vs Old Purchases Procurement Policy in place helps draw a line for Legacy Systems. Institutions might wish to prioritize compliance initiatives targeting new websites and content with a commitment to improve access to existing and archived sites This focuses on Websites, Documents, Videos, etc. A number of resolution agreements target compliance in this manner 25
High Impact/High Priority The higher the impact the higher the priority. While working on some of the high impact, high effort areas may be more long term projects. High Impact Finding low effort areas that also have a high impact are essential for easy wins. High Effort Low Effort
Low Impact Things to help with accessibility Keyword searching. Ability to browse topics. Intuitive interface. Content optimized (OCR) Quick information retrieval. Good indexing (Metadata) Baseline Design Considerations for Online Courses Visual: Provide alternative text descriptions for all meaningful graphics (images, charts, graphs, SmartArt, objects)
Provide descriptions for videos where visual content is important to understanding subject matter. Use styles in Office documents, headers to mark-up tables or frames (for websites) Choose applications that support keyboard navigation and are compatible with screen readers Hearing: Provide captions for all videos For audio, provide transcripts Cognitive, Neurological: Use consistent navigation, tab order, appropriate language level Areas where Accessibility May Apply Obtaining information E-Reserves Databases Audio and Video
Books (hard copy and electronic) Web-based material Websites Applications Bibliography Software Procurement Overall Purchasing Library has its own How do Libraries apply? All libraries need to comply with Section 508's requirements for accessibility of public information technologies for both their patrons and their employees. What is an "accessible" information technology? Technology with a user interface that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. It can be used through a variety of senses and does not depend on one mode of use. For example, a system that provides output only in audio format would
not be accessible to people with hearing loss, and a system that requires mouse actions to navigate would not be accessible to individuals who cannot use a mouse because of a dexterity or visual disability. E-Learning Courses Which also ties in Video and Documents Create a Course Accessibility Checklist Includes a review of the following areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Syllabus and Course Readings LMS Word documents PPT presentations PDF documents Multimedia videos and audio Supplemental Applications 3rd party Anything else specific to your school! Tools to help check for accessibility Free PDF checker, auto repair and wizard: PAVE Free PDF checker (Doesnt require Adobe Pro): Access for All PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC) Free PDF checker (Does require Adobe Pro): Commonlook PDF Validator Free PDF to HTML tool, great for students use (Does require Adobe Pro): Callas Software pdfGoHTML
If you want to check websites a free resources that allows Section 508 or WCAG 2.0: Achecker Another web accessibility checker for those starting out in accessibility: WAVE Microsoft Office Built In tools: Making Documents Accessible Training and Marketing You cant sell accessibility but you can share information that could make it easier for everyone: Questions and Contact Information Kara Zirkle Accessible Technology Specialist Miami University, Ohio Email: [email protected]
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