Accessible Technology

IT Accessibility Plan

The University of Washington has a long history of working to address accessibility issues related to technology. For a list of activities and accomplishments, see our IT Accessibility Progress page.

Current efforts build on these earlier efforts. Following is a roadmap of goals and activities for addressing the procurement, development, and use of accessible new and existing information technologies. This is a living document and is continually revised based on changes in technology and evolving needs and priorities. Guidance for setting priorities comes from the IT Accessibility Task Force. The work is accomplished under the leadership of UW-IT Accessible Technology Services in collaboration with campus units and IT Accessibility Liaisons.

Professional Development

  • Host the UW Web Accessibility/Usability Monthly Meetup.
  • Host monthly Accessible Tech Office Hours for drop-in consultation and support as part of the UW-wide Morning of Web.
  • Coordinate three half-day workshops per year for the IT Accessibility Liaisons network.
  • Offer customized trainings on IT accessibility to academic and administrative units upon request.
  • New in 2021: More actively promote the availability of customized trainings on IT accessibility through the IT Accessibility Liaisons network.
  • New in 2021: Launch a monthly webinar series on various topics related to IT Accessibility. Actively promote webinars and make recordings available via the Accessible Technology website.
  • New in 2021: Develop an online asynchronous basic course on IT accessibility designed for all UW staff and faculty. Then identify strategies for raising awareness about the course and provide incentives for people to take it.

Partnerships

  • Actively engage and support members of the IT Accessibility Liaisons network.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Compliance, Disability Resources for Students (DRS), and Disability Services Office (DSO) in strategizing, planning, and providing services that ensure individuals with disabilities are able to fully participate in opportunities offered at the UW.
  • Collaborate with the Procurement Services Office and Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to improve processes for addressing accessibility when procuring IT, and to raise awareness among people making procurement decisions.
  • Partner with UW service owners and managers and the IT vendors with whom the UW has an active or pending business relationship, in order to help vendors provide products and services that meet the UW’s accessibility standards.
  • Engage with other postsecondary IT accessibility leaders throughout Washington state to share resources and promising practices, and to work together on projects and activities of mutual interest.

Tools

  • Provide Siteimprove for web accessibility checking, and offer training and support to users to ensure it’s effectively utilized. Continue to explore the feasibility of ¬†expanding to an enterprise-level Siteimprove license.
  • Provide Ally for accessibility of course content within Canvas, and offer training and support to users to ensure it’s effectively utilized.
  • Provide the UW Document Conversion Service, powered by SensusAccess, in partnership with DRS. This service provides a means for any member of the UW community to upload digital documents and quickly convert them to a variety of alternative formats.
  • Pilot Open Access Technologies’ DocMD, a tool for managing accessibility efforts related to accessibility of public documents such as PDFs.
  • Develop and maintain YouTube Caption Auditor (YTCA) and promote its availability as a tool for UW-affiliated YouTube channel owners to track and prioritize their video captioning efforts.
  • Lead the development efforts of Able Player, a fully accessible media player, and work to increase its availability for use in WordPress and Drupal.

Resources

  • New in 2021: Complete reorganization and redesign of the Accessible Technology website, in collaboration with University Marketing and Communications.
  • New in 2021: Update the IT Accessibility Checklist to include new checklist items for meeting the new success criteria introduced in the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.
  • Upon returning to campus in 2021:¬† Maintain a showroom of assistive technology and provide consulting on its use and on accessible IT in the Access Technology Center.
  • Work closely with University Marketing and Communications to ensure accessibility of standard UW-branded web themes, web components, and document templates, and actively work to promote use of these resources.