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IT Accessibility Constituent Group Meeting Minutes 2010

EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2010
October 14, 2010
Anaheim, CA


The meeting was attended by 17 people, listed here in order of introduction:

  • Terrill Thompson, University of Washington (group leader)
  • Kevin Shalla, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Marion Smith, CSU Dominguez Hills
  • Jon Gunderson, University of Illinois
  • Ken Petri, The Ohio State University
  • John Foliot, Stanford University
  • Mark Beattie, Gonzaga University
  • Jan Luow, Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
  • Rick Bowes, Center for Digital Accessibility
  • Christine Bagwell, UC San Diego
  • Diane Bellin, Atomic Learning
  • Kevin Erler, Automatic Sync Technologies
  • Hadi Rangin, University of Illinois
  • Alice Anderson, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Sue Cullen, CSU Northridge
  • Sandra Caesar, CSU Northridge
  • One additional person (name and affiliation unknown)


  • Concensus is that the IT Accessibility Center went well.
  • What was the goal of the Center?

    • To provide answers to visitors' questions about accessbility
    • To raise awareness. We want accessibility to be one of the CIOs' Top 10 issues as measured by the EDUCAUSE Survey.

      • We still aren't sure whether accessibility was one of the choices on the survey.
      • Kevin thought he had found the answer to that question and posted it to the list. He'll investigate.
      • Accessibility is one of the top issues identified by Theresa Rowe, leader of the CIO Constituent Group, according to her presentation at the CIO CG meeting. In fact, it was the first item on her slide identifying the top issues (which otherwise didn't seem to be in any particular order).
  • We need to continue the momementum and have a regular teleconference schedule.
  • Wednesdays at 1:00pm Eastern (noon Central, 11am Mountain, 10am Pacific) seem to work. We should continue that at least once monthly (the first Wednesday of each month).
  • Need to continue building relationships with CIOs and with other constituent groups (e.g., instructional designers, web designers)
  • Also need to continue building relationships with vendors. Our willingness to collaborate with vendors on accessibility is a valuable service that more vendors should be aware of.

    • Need ambassadors to work the Exhibit Hall, talking to vendors and inviting them to visit the Center for further discussions, assistive technology demos, etc.
  • CIOs who participated in the Center spoke very highly of the value of having the Center at the conference and appreciated the opportunity to discuss accessibility with their peers
  • We need CIOs to communicate this message to EDUCAUSE.
  • Marty Ringle's presentation on his experiences with accessibility at Reed College was excellent. If he could give that same talk to his peers at the CIO meeting, it would go a lot farther toward raising awareness than one of us talking about accessibility.
  • Currently, EDUCAUSE seems to be considering a different model next year, including a special space for all constituent groups, separate from the Exhibit Hall
  • Several meeting participants expressed concern that a separate space would not generate enough traffic.
  • Two meeting participants said they didn't know there was a booth; they just ran across it while browsing the Exhibit Hall.
  • If we have a booth, it's likely that we would need to come up with the funding ourselves (approximately $10K for a booth comparable to what we had this year).

    • EDUCAUSE doesn't like constituent groups talking to vendors about sponsorships
    • We might be able to get a grant from the Sloan Foundation, or Next Generation Learning Challenges, or some other source
  • Another idea: Sponsor a dinner
  • If we have a booth, what would we do differently than this year?

    • More scripted activities that allow visitors to interract with technologies (use assistive technologies, disability simulations, etc.)
    • Give away prizes

      • Vendors' drawings for iPads attracted huge crowds. Even if these people weren't motivated by the vendor's product, it's a captive audience - great for awareness building.
      • We had considered that for this year but it never materialized
      • Could give away one or more trips to the CSUN Conference on Technology and Disability. That experience could be a real eye-opener for a CIO.
      • We could also invite EDUCAUSE executives to attend CSUN.
    • Have a repeating presentation, e.g., "Accessibility 101 for CIOs" so if attendees can't attend one scheduled time, they can come back later.
    • Better signage - it's hard to be noticed when so many vendors have giant displays with lots of bells and whistles
    • Better layout - The primary path of travel led people past the black curtain behind the presenter. The presenter and monitor should be facing out so passersby can see what's going on.

Action Items

  1. See if we can get a copy of the EDUCAUSE Survey, so we can (a) see if accessibility is one of the choices, and (b) assess whether the methodology ensures that all choices are equally likely to be selected. (Kevin Shalla)
  2. Gather data regarding traffic to the wiki and handout pages before, during, and after the conference. This will help us to assess the effectiveness of our publicity efforts (Terrill Thompson)
  3. Explore the viability of seeking grant funding for future conference activities (Hadi Rangin)
  4. Send Thank You cards to CIOs and Senior IT Leaders who participated in the Center (Jon Gunderson, Terrill Thompson, and Sue Cullen will work together)
  5. Follow up with Theresa Rowe about further CIO involvement in accessibility activities (Terrill Thompson)

Next Meeting

We will resume our regularly scheduled teleconferences starting on Wednesday November 3. An announcement will be posted to the ITACCESS list.


See also photos of the IT Accessibility Center on Flickr.

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