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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 ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at


We have been discussing this for about two years, and while we are making progress on the IT issues (web sites are tested and fixed or being fixed), we are now coming up against things that are not IT and IT can't fix. Things like, faculty should not be adopting textbooks that are not available in accessible formats. The library should never buy another video that is not closed captioned even if the only one available is not closed captioned. All lecture capture rooms that are used to record todays lecture and immediately post it to a web site has to first be sent to be closed captioned and then posted. All pod casts of a lecture have to be made available in another format before being posted. Are there versions of printed marketing materials available to Admissions to send out when requested. Are cafeteria menu boards accessible. We offer a lot of very hands on courses and also struggle with if we need to be sure we provide accessible instructional materials for a class in Heavy Equipment Operation for an individual who is legally blind. Every time we try to word a policy or a statement and use the phrase "... all instruction material must..." we come back to real life examples of putting that general statement into action. I know it makes this much more difficult but the front line staff are going to want real life examples on what to do. If you have a policy that says "... all software purchased must meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines..." and then you have the companies who hire your graduates telling you you must teach students how to use application xxxxx, and that application does not meet WCAG do you refuse to teach what your students need to know to get a job when they graduate. I do agree that trying to squeeze all of this into one presentation is not possible and the big picture is what campus leaders need to hear but we can't forget about the ones dealing with these issues every day and wanting to know if what they are about to do is OK to do. Mike Cunningham
Greg, I think there should be at least one CIO, someone who is very visible in Educause to give the other speakers credibility and to get the attention of CIOs. You state in your message that there is someone behind most the CIO to help them understand and implement accessibility, then that should be an important part of the message: "you need someone to help you understand and implement accessibility" if you don't have one you need to get one. I also think an important them is access. Public universities pride themselves on access and opportunity, part of message should be that access to education and opportunity for students , faculty and staff are being denied because of the way technology is being implemented. Jon
Hi Greg - I agree with Jon. That a CIO gives it credibility. My CIO, Bruce Maas, likes doing these things, is a strong advocate and on the EDUCAUSE board. If you would like I can ask him if he would be interested. Judy Caruso UW-Madison
Good morning, Thanks for all your work on this project! Greg and Jon's ideas sound excellent to me. Just reading the email encourages me to focus in helpful ways. Here are a couple of comments/suggestions (though I like the idea of trying not to pack in too much): For item 1, the "biggest risks" issues: I think also of the particular issues of MOOCS, since the usual on-site Disability Services offices may not be able to give support. In the case of MOOCS, students are probably not registered with Disability Services offices so may not be eligible for their support in the same way that degree students are. Students may not be aware of their rights or where to go if there is an issue (so may be more likely to go outside the institution?). For item 3, the "top down" solutions: Some other aspects of power over or with vendors that might be worth mentioning are: writing vendors' responsibilities into contracts and working in partnership with them on this journey - few if any software products are going to be perfectly accessible to some standard, and of course then they change. And on Jon's comment about public universities priding themselves on access and opportunity: I suggest emphasizing or at least mentioning that this is a civil rights issue. Jeff Kline emphasized this in a recent Webinar series he gave with SSBBart. He said something like, OK, maybe there isn't always a business case and should we really be working so hard to find one when the bottom line is that it is a civil rights issue. (Jeff's two 45-minute talks are online at - search for 'Kline'. ) This was also driven home to me while reading parts of the recent book, "What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement," by Fred Pelka. Fascinating stuff - I hope to read more of it someday. Not sure if this is helpful, but I often think that a (partial?) analogy at the institutional level could be security. How is that incorporated into procurement, etc.? Thanks again! Carol
I especially like Jon's comment about the message: "you need someone to help you understand and implement accessibility". Deep knowledge of IT accessibility issues and fixes is woefully inadequate in most organizations. See y'all in Anaheim. Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology Accessibility Group Penn State 814-863-4574
I think we need a prominent CIO on the panel to affirm the statement of the need to accessibility specialist. Jon -----Original Message----- From: The EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Christian Vinten-Johansen Sent: Friday, September 27, 2013 10:05 AM To: ITACCESS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [ITACCESS] Accessibility Webinar for Campus Leaders I especially like Jon's comment about the message: "you need someone to help you understand and implement accessibility". Deep knowledge of IT accessibility issues and fixes is woefully inadequate in most organizations. See y'all in Anaheim. Christian -- Christian Vinten-Johansen Teaching and Learning with Technology Accessibility Group Penn State 814-863-4574