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Meeting Notes from 11/6/2013 Meeting
Jon Gunderson (University of Illinois) opened the ITACCESS Constituent Group meeting and asked Lisa Caid (West Texas A&M University) to take notes. Also present were Ann Manning (Wesley College), and Lorraine Norwich (Boston University). Jon tabled agenda item 1, Recap of accessibility events at Educause conference in October, as most present had not attended the conference. Jon addressed agenda item 2, Future teleconference topics, and asked what this group could do besides EDUCAUSE conference planning. Jon discussed how the group might help support authoring tools (such as SoftChalk, or other non-Microsoft Office tools that instructors use) in their efforts to automate some accessibility functions (such as automatically provided XTML graphs from Excel graphs) to make more accessible instructional materials. A core group could look at how these authoring tools might be improved to support instructors in making accessible materials more easily, by default. Ann noted that Boston College got a federal grant for Universal Design work, and that there may be a connection to make by learning from their work. Jon asked Ann to contact Boston College and bring back some info on what they are doing, and to see if Boston College might be interested in learning about priorities from our group. Jon said that procurement was a big issue from the annual Constituent Group meeting. The first step for accessible procurement is to include statements in RFPs (requests for proposals) and contracts that require accessibility standards. Next is to make purchasers aware of the contractual accessibility requirements, and get accurate accessibility information from the vendors. This group could look at how to make accessibility part of the culture of purchasing. Lisa said that Texas Administrative Codes require state institutions of higher education to include processes for accessible procurement in University policy. West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) is finishing a procedure that includes accessible procurement and will share with the group when it's published. Ann mentioned that she attends Student Affairs conferences and sees opportunities for conferences across disciplines to share accessibility training and information (such as the New England AHEAD spring webinar about funding what is needed to make software accessible). Jon said a place is needed to collect where all the accessibility webinars and trainings are happening, but asked where and how it could be posted for the benefit of faculty and instructional designers. Jon discussed using web accessibility analytics to focus higher education managers on the resources they need to help fix their accessibility problems, especially when the analytics show that the institution is not as accessible as peer institutions, giving incentive for improvements. Lisa asked about higher education curriculum and courses (such as WCAG 2.0 Compliance) that teach students to develop accessible IT products and services, so that those students can be hired by university IT departments to help implement standards based compliance that is required by law. This relates to professional credentialing. Lorraine said that she had taught engineering school students on accessibility (such as those completing capstone projects) and there are ways to look at creating the curriculum such as exploring product ideas. Jon said there are different aspects of credentialing to consider, such as different fields (Assistive Technology Industry Association, usability, higher education, or commercial areas), bodies of knowledge, informal certificates of completion, and demonstrations of knowledge or competencies. He said WebAIM and CSUN offer trainings, but asked what the training provides, and what is the incentive or compensation for those developing the training. Jon said that he may take this discussion to his dean for developing a certificate course. Ann said that the University of Connecticut School of Education has a certificate in post-secondary disability services. Jon adjourned the meeting at 12:45 p.m. CT. Sincerely, Lisa M. Caid Accessibility Coordinator Information Technology West Texas A&M University www.wtamu.edu/about/web-accessibility.aspx Office: 806-651-1241 email@example.com TAC 206 Definitions. TAC 213 Definitions. If you need email content or attachments in alternate formats for accessibility, please send your contact information and the specifics of your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.