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Penn State’s Strategic Plan on Accessible Technology and Information Presented by: Bill Welsh Director, the Office for Disability Services The Pennsylvania State University October 12, 2012
Why is Accessibility of Information and Technology Important? • "For most of us, technology makes things easier. For a person with a disability, it makes things possible. " -Judy Heumann, Assistant Secretary, U. S. Department of Education. • Accessibility and usability are similar concepts which affect every user. • It is not just for individuals with disabilities. Universally designing technology works for everyone.
Penn State’s Web Accessibility Policy • In 2004, Penn State adopted first Web Policy, AD 54. A web review committee formed 2005. • August, 2011, original policy revised and Policy AD-69 approved as a separate Web Accessibility Policy. • Revised policy requires compliance with W 3 C WCAG 2. 0 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines conformance level AA. Policy url: Policy AD-69 link
NFB Complaint • November 2010, National Federation for the Blind filed a complaint against Penn State. • NFB contends a variety of technologies are inaccessible to individuals who are blind at PSU. • Included websites, Angel (course mgmt. system), clickers, ATM’s, smart podiums etc. • October 11, 2011, agreement to resolve the complaint includes timelines for the next three years. • No later than October 15, 2014, all web pages hosted on University’s websites that have been published or updated after August 1, 2009 shall be accessible to blind users. Other pages made accessible upon request. • Action plans necessary for resolution of complaint.
PSU Agrees To conduct web accessibility audits: • Web Liaisons responsible for website audits and reporting. • A University-wide validation tool was purchased that will provide audit reports of websites. Penn State uses Hi. Software’s Compliance Sheriff. Other products exist. • Web Liaisons to work with their unit or college to determine websites that will be evaluated. • A central audit of Web sites was conducted determined through web analytics of the most popular sites at Penn State. Also, each Web Liaisons determined their unit’s most popular sites. • Audits will be conducted every six months for three years to determine progress.
New PSU committee: The Accessible Technology and Information (ATI) Committee § Charged by the Dean, University Libraries; the Associate Vice Provost, Information Technology Services; and the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. § Coordinate efforts on web accessibility, accessible online learning, accessible technology, accessible instructional materials, assistive technology, training, captioning and procurement practices. § Coordinate efforts to comply with Policy AD-69 and develop strategic plan for implementation and reporting of NFB resolution. § Modeled somewhat on California State University plan http: //www. calstate. edu/accessibility/
Accessible Technology and Information (ATI) Committee • Develop accessibility trainings and best practices for faculty, staff, web developers and instructional designers. • Develop and maintain coordinated efforts on resources, tools, trainings and best practices. • Identify additional system-wide resources required. • Assess current efforts at PSU and make recommendations for enhancements and further coordination. • Development of Practice Groups to meet implementation plan goals.
University Wide Practice Groups § Accessibility Training § Web Accessibility Web site (accessibility. psu. edu) § Accessible On-line Learning § Web Accessibility Review and Implementation § Captioning § Assistive and Adaptive Technology § Accessible Instructional Materials § Procurement of Accessible Software/Hardware
Web Accessibility Review and Implementation • A Web liaison group has existed at Penn State since 2005. • Spring 2011, PSU Provost initiated a revised Web Accessibility Review and Implementation Group which re-confirmed Penn State’s commitment to Web accessibility to adhere to new Web Accessibility Policy AD-69. • All Budget Executives directed to appoint a Web Liaison to this committee. • New Web Liaison Practice Group formed in August 2011.
Web Liaison Role Develop for their unit: • A process for monitoring and remediation of websites. • A strategy to ensure that new websites and web content incorporate accessibility in the design and authoring process. • A process for identifying critical administrative websites that require remediation. • A training plan for those who develop and maintain websites. • An evaluation process to measure the effectiveness of the plan. • The identification of roles and responsibilities associated with the above processes. • Milestones and timelines that conform to the University’s three year strategic plan.
Training Practice Group • Develop synchronous and asynchronous trainings on accessible information and technology for University personnel. • Develop means of IT training services to incorporate accessibility into current trainings of typical software products such as Office suite, Adobe products, and other central software tools. • Work with AIT committee to coordinate training efforts on accessibility and develop a training plan each year. • Keep records of participants and events throughout the year for reporting purposes. • Last year over 100 accessibility trainings and workshops were provided to the University community.
Web Accessibility Web Site accessibility. psu. edu: § All instruction and information on accessible information and technology are incorporated into one Web site. Penn State's Accessibility Web Site
First Year Plan for Web Accessibility • Conduct Central Audits of most popular sites and core institutional sites. • Conduct Scans on main blockers for screen readers. • Focus trainings on using validation tool, remediation of blockers, and several other key web accessibility issues. • Each Web Liaison unit to develop a three year strategic plan. • One year report of progress from every unit.
Captioning Practice Group: • Exploring solutions, costs, and procedures for the most effective and efficient manner of obtaining transcripts and providing captioning. • Develop a pilot project utilizing the best practices and comparing costs, time etc. versus outsourcing. • Research outsourcing captioning options and costs regarding system-wide discounted agreements with captioning providers. • Penn State instituted a captioning policy for all marketing multimedia videos on the web.
Assistive and Adaptive Technology Practice Group: • Assess current assistive and adaptive technology, recommend best practices, resources, and tools necessary to enhance current system. • Research other assistive technology programs at other similar sized institutions to benchmark. • Develop AT training programs for faculty, staff, web developers and students regarding the latest AT and adaptive technologies. • Propose AT specialist position
Accessible Instructional Materials Practice Group: § Make recommendations related to the development of a comprehensive university-wide system for accessible instructional materials. Including training for faculty on workflow and use of accessible instructional materials. § Working with a core group of faculty to train on how to make courses accessible. Then have them train other faculty. § Development of faculty training resources. § Explore other avenues of obtaining accessible instructional materials. For example: Access Text Network (ATN Access text site); Learning Ally (formerly RFBD Learning Ally Site); Bookshare (Bookshare site); Alternative Media Access Center (AMAC site
Accessible On-line Learning Practice Group: • Identification of accessibility best practices that apply to the tools, systems, and software used in online courses. • Recommendations concerning implementation of specific standards regarding accessibility best practices and strategies for online courses. • Penn State’s online courses include accessibility as on of their 12 standards. • Identification of quality assurance checklists, processes, and tools that will identify and verify that standards have been met.
Procurement of Accessible Software/Hardware • Purchasing has joined the efforts by building awareness and competencies in evaluating accessibility of software and RFP’s now contain language requiring conformance to WCAG 2. 0 standards. • Accessibility checks on technology products prior to purchase.
Institutional Change • Change in culture from being reactive and providing accommodations to being proactive and thinking more about universal design. • Promoting universal design concepts for all instead of accessibility for a few. • Accessibility no longer an afterthought when technology is instituted. Discussions now include accessibility in many realms including classroom technologies, online technologies, Web 2. 0 use, mobile applications etc. • No longer just disability office discussing accessibility and usability concepts. Many embracing concepts and knowledge base. • Trainings widely attended, many want to learn how to make technology and information accessible. • Collaborative efforts happening across systems throughout the University.
General Guidelines for Creating Accessible Materials • The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines developed by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W 3 C). § Based on four principles: • Perceivable: Available to the senses (vision and hearing primarily) either through the browser or through assistive technologies (e. g. screen readers, screen enlargers, etc. ) • Operable: Users can interact using either the mouse, keyboard, or an assistive device. • Understandable: Content is clear and limits confusion and ambiguity. • Robust: A wide range of technologies can access the content.
Demo of Screen Reader This video portrays how a screen reader reads through a course management system when it is properly designed for accessibility in Blackboard: • www. blackboard. com/Platforms/Learn/Resou rces/Accessibility/JAWS-Demo. aspx
Accessibility Fixes 101 • • • Headings should be added using styles. Images should have alternative text. Hyperlinks should be configured properly. Audio and video should be captioned. Use an automated tool to check accessibility.
Creating Accessible Word Documents Headings: • A screen reader will not recognize bold text or a large font size as indicating a heading in Word. • Transforming this text to a heading style such as Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 will allow a screen reader to easily navigate your page and provide accessibility for all. • The document title should be in Heading 1, major subsections in Heading 2, further subsections in Heading 3 and so forth. Headings 1, 2, and 3 can be selected in the Styles section of Word.
Adding Headings for PC and Mac Users For Windows users Word 2007 and 2010 Using the home tab in the top ribbon, select the appropriate heading For Mac users Word 2004 and 2008 Headings can be set from the drop-down menu or from the formatting palette, as shown in the screen shots below.
Accessible Images • To add alt text: • Right-click the image and select Format Picture. This will open a dialog box. • Select the Alt Text tab. • Enter text in the Description box. Note: Do not use the Title box. • Descriptions should make sense and not more than 20 words or 125 characters.
Hyperlinks in Power. Point or Word • Screen reader users often scan a document for hyperlinks, so it is important to make sure your links make sense without their surrounding content. • For example, a link should say “Readings for the week of February 14” rather than “Readings for the week of February 14. Click here. ” • Screen readers can and will read a raw URL, but such links can be difficult to understand.
Hyperlinks To edit a hyperlink’s display text: • Right-click the URL • Select Edit Hyperlink. • Enter the text you’d like to be displayed in the box labeled Text to display. Example: http: //accessibility. psu. edu/powerpoint#alt
Power. Point Accessibility Overview: • Always add ALT tags or labels to images. • Audio and video files should include captions. • Use a color scheme which provides enough contrast of text versus background, yet is not too overpowering. • Give a title to every slide and make sure the title is entered into the designated title area (usually at the top). • Use the Arrange tool to order elements in a sequence that will be intelligible in a screen reader. • Use the Accessibility Checker for issues.
Accessibility checker • Word 2010 comes with a new accessibility checker. • To Test your document for accessibility issues: – Go to File>Info – Click the check for Issues button – Select Check accessibility
Hearing Impairments: § Provide synchronous captioning of videos and multimedia presentations. § Hire a Sign Language interpreter or Computer Aided Real Time Captioning for training events when requested. These can then be embedded into the recorded version.
Where to Begin? Policy and Assessment! • Do we have a policy on Web Accessibility? Is it current? What is the standard? • Do we have a policy on procurement of accessible technology? • Do we have a policy on on-line course accessibility? • Do we have a policy on captioned videos? • Do we have a policy on accessible course materials and technology? • Have we assessed our technology in the classrooms, offices, student union, computer labs, etc. ? • Is our Learning or Course Management system accessible? E-mail system? Course Registration system?
Resources • Web. Aim: http: //webaim. org/ • WCAG 2. 0 from W 3 C: http: //www. w 3. org/TR/WCAG/ • PSU Accessibility site: www. accessibility. psu. edu • W 3 C, Mobile Web and WCAG: http: //www. w 3. org/TR/mwbp-wcag/ • W 3 C Mobile Web Best Practices: http: //www. w 3. org/TR/mobile-bp/ • WCAG 2. 0 from W 3 C: http: //www. w 3. org/TR/WCAG/