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Accessibility Webinar for Campus Leaders
Hi All, I've been thinking a lot about this presentation. I am now of the opinion that we should not have CIOs be the principal presenters. I think this for a couple of reasons, some of which come from talking to my CIO. He helps moderate several of these EDUCAUSE Live sessions. I think the most important thing to do in this Webinar is to frame the issues in ways that make an impact on campus leaders and gives them some new ideas and ways to think about things that they can take back and then begin acting on. I think we all are plenty capable of doing that, and I think we can even do it more effectively than CIOs. (If my CIO were asked to present on this, he would ask me to make the slide deck for him.) I won't discount the power of the message coming from a CIO, but behind every CIO who supports an accessibly progressive campus, there is someone else behind the scenes who is making that a reality and giving advice to the CIO. A lot of those people are on this list. I think we can give some answers that are powerful to campus leaders. When I went back and looked at all of my notes, three major themes emerged to me. 1. What are your biggest risks as a campus? 2. What changes can give you the biggest wins? 3. What problems need to be solved from the top down? I could see us using these three questions as jumping off points to provide context and real-world solutions for campuses who don't even know where to begin. I could see an outline like the following. (Throughout this outline I talk about showing examples. I don't think we should go down the rabbit hole too far with any of our examples. I think we should give a broader range of solutions that have worked rather than diving deeply into a few that have. In other words, I think we ought to provide executive summaries of what works.) 1. What are your biggest risks as a campus? * Talk about biggest risks being wherever students come into contact with IT, especially course materials. We could bring in examples of the recent campus settlements. "You won't get sued for missing alternative text on your University's home page, but you will if a student cannot access course handouts distributed as inaccessible PDF documents." * Talk about timeliness and equitable access and what that means and how careful planning helps deal with some of these issues. 2. What changes can give you the biggest wins? * Talk about making enterprise-level solutions accessible. LMS; using WordPress or Drupal for faculty to create Web pages; what benefits can these efforts can bring. * Talk about defining accessible workflows for faculty and staff. Emphasize that your entire campus does not have to become accessibility experts, but you can provide safe paths for them to travel down in order to more easily make accessible content. Give some examples of accessible workflows. 3. What problems need to be solved from the top down? * Talk about making accessibility part of the culture. Talk about how this impacts everything from application development, to content creation, to procurement, to new initiatives, like introducing e-books. Talk about how accessibility needs to be brought in at the earliest stages. Project managers might not make accessibility part of their process unless they are told from above that they will do it. Give examples of success stories. * Talk about the issues around procurement. Talk about how the only real power we have over vendors who have inaccessible products is to not buy their product. Describe how accessibility is one of the core business needs that products need to meet, along with all of the other business needs that get defined. Show examples of where introducing accessibility into the procurement process was a success. Also emphasize the need to have this directive come down from on high to have accessibility be considered in procurement. Those are my thoughts. I'd appreciate your feedback on them. I know this doesn't cover everything that I wish I could tell campus leaders, but I think it's a good start. Honestly, I think one of the problems with accessibility presentations in general is we pack them so full of information that they become overwhelming to newbies. I would rather talk about a couple of things well and give them something they can act on instead of making sure we cross all of our T's and dot all of our I's and say everything possible about accessibility. Thanks. Greg -- Greg Kraus University IT Accessibility Coordinator NC State University 919.513.4087 firstname.lastname@example.org ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.