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.
  • 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.
  • Actively promote the availability of customized trainings on IT accessibility through the IT Accessibility Liaisons network.
  • Host 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: Through the Training Subcommittee of the IT Accessibility Task Force, identify, then implement, a strategy for educating greater numbers of UW staff and faculty on basic IT accessibility issues.

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 people 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.
  • 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

  • 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 the use of these resources.