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2023 Digital Accessibility Awards

The UW IT Accessibility Task Force is pleased to announce the following recipients of Digital Accessibility Awards in 2023. Awards were distributed on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18, 2023) to individuals or departmental units who have demonstrated a commitment to digital accessibility over the last year.

Video Captioning 100 Awards

The 2023 Video Captioning 100 Awards were presented to UW departmental units who have captioned 100% of the videos on their YouTube channels as of May 1, 2023. Recipients were:

Channels with Fewer than 100 Videos

  • Environmental Health & Safety
  • Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
  • UW Records Management
  • Compliance Services
  • Center for Neurotechnology
  • UW Information Technology

Channels with More than 100 Videos

  • School of Public Health (182 videos)
  • The DO-IT Center (193 videos)
  • Professional & Continuing Education (229 videos)
  • UW Libraries (286 videos)

IT Accessibility Trailblazer Awards

IT Accessibility Trailblazer Award recipients are community members who have forged new pathways to a welcoming and inclusive university through their efforts to improve digital accessibility. Their work has impact, longevity, is conducted in collaboration with others throughout the community, and aligns with the UW’s accessibility policies and Diversity Blueprint Goals. In 2023, there were five recipients of this award:

Hana Levay, UW Libraries

Hana is co-chair of the Libraries Accessibility Working Group. In that role, she has led efforts to improve the accessibility of third party electronic resources by adding accessibility requirements to licensing contracts, canceling subscriptions to inaccessible products, and finding more accessible alternatives. By informing vendors of the inaccessibility of their products, and actively encouraging other libraries to do the same, Hana’s work has had a measurable impact on accessibility of products used in libraries.

Karen Crow, Environmental Health & Safety

Karen collaborates with over 30 content creators in Environmental Health & Safety to annually update over 300 web pages and over 1,000 safety manuals, forms, templates, infographics, videos, policies and other materials. She has developed instructions and provides guidance that these content creators rely on for ensuring the content they create is accessible, and has built accessibility checks into editorial workflows. Thanks to Karen, accessibility considerations are now ingrained in EHS regular work processes.

Lalitha Subramanian, Continuum College

Lalitha is founder and inaugural lead of the Digital Accessibility Committee in UW Continuum College, where she has collaborated and worked with a wide variety of stakeholder groups to improve accessibility. Beyond Continuum College, she is an enthusiastic member of the IT Accessibility Liaisons network, an extremely active participant in the UW’s pilot institutional membership in the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, is active in the EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Community group, and is a member of UW’s Diversity Council and contributor to the UW Diversity blueprint, with a focus on the accessibility mandate.

Shannon Garcia, Disability Resources for Students

Shannon is responsible for collecting requests and completing course remediation of thousands of course materials across all 3 campuses for students with disabilities. She is impacting retention and graduation of these students in the most critical ways. In addition, she has been working with campus partners on developing solutions for improving retention and sharing of remediated resource, and has developed online systems to make submission of requests more efficient both for students and instructors.  She collaborates with libraries and publishers around the world to find accessible files and books, and has to think outside the box or find other partners when she cannot find a source file or needs help remediating it.  From the nomination: “She works to keep us and the university accountable to legal obligations related to access of materials. And she does all this, and so much more, without anyone knowing it.”

Tohm Judson, UW Bothell Marketing & Communications

Tohm is a Front End Developer who has been working over the last year on a major redesign of the UW Bothell website which includes moving to a new content management system. In that role he has been a staunch advocate for accessibility, always looking at new designs through an accessibility and universal design lens first.  He is working  closely with an external development firm and frequently challenges the accessibility of their solutions to make them better. As a member of Marketing and Communications, who oversees the website work of more than 150 website editors, Tohm continually raises accessibility questions and educates others on how to build more accessible solutions.

Capacity Building Awards (Departmental Units)

University Marketing And Communications (UMAC)

UMAC produces the UW Boundless WordPress theme that is used across the university. They are continually making updates and improvements to accessibility of the theme and its components, and often consult with UW-IT Accessible Technology Services for guidance. Sharing the theme across the university helps to ensure that units who do not have the resources or accessibility knowledge to develop accessible themes can still produce an accessible site, thereby moving the UW towards a fully accessible and inclusive overall web presence.

Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL)

Equity and inclusion is at the center of CTL’s mission, and they have identified “Advancing teaching that is accessible” as one of its five strategic directions. The aim is to adopt a “born-accessible” approach to CTL programming, resource development, and instructional consultation that reflects universal design for learning and accessibility best practices.  As part of that vision, they have an instructional consultant dedicated to helping faculty increase accessibility of their courses, and have a dedicated team member who ensures that all video recordings have accurate captions, audio descriptions, and transcripts. Their web pages on Accessible Teaching Strategies and Designing for Inclusive Learning have attracted thousands of unique visitors, and thousands more have enrolled in their Teaching Online 101 course for faculty, which includes digital accessibility content.  They have founded or are active participants on a number of committees throughout the University, all geared toward helping to build bridges and community in support of digital accessibility efforts.