Discussion Summaries

What is (1) helping and (2) holding back your progress on implementing Policy #188?

Factors that promote IT accessibility efforts include the following:

  • Access360 grants that offer a yearlong mentorship opportunity for cross-functional campus teams as they implement accessibility policies on a broad scale to effectively, efficiently and equitably serve students, employees and community members
  • capacity building institutes that offer opportunities to talk more in depth about accessibility issues and find more resources
  • strong support received from campus leadership, supervisors, purchasing, administration, faculty, and other groups
  • trainings offered to staff and faculty
  • ongoing engagement continued across campus through events, emails, workshops, reminders, and discussion groups
  • resources offered by Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, Accessible Technology Services, Disability Services, and other groups
  • committees created to continue engaging on accessibility topics and push for change around campuses
  • standards confirmed and stipulated in a method that is easy to understand, carry out, and enforce

Factors that hold IT accessibility efforts back include the following:

  • inadequate numbers of staff members to tackle necessary tasks
  • not enough people educated in accessibility issues
  • lack of appropriate resources to share
  • a procurement process that does not always consider accessibility when purchasing new hardware and software
  • costs to make IT accessible that are higher than the institution or individual departments are willing to pay
  • the State‘s lack of processes in place to enforce accountability practices
  • staff and faculty that resist change or see accessibility as a disability services not an IT issue
  • lack of mandatory IT accessibility trainings for all staff and faculty
  • inadequate buy-in from leadership can make accessibility a lower priority
  • inaccessible testing software and methods, creating a complication for faculty and students
  • different website platforms that offer different accessibility features, thus making it difficult to train the average web developer or staff member on accessible practices

What are key steps you are planning to take to implement Policy #188, short term and long term?

Short term, we plan to

  • set regular meeting schedule and invite new members to the Accessible Technology Team;
  • keep stakeholders and others on campus informed on a quarterly basis, as well as share resources and awareness;
  • determine spending costs on training options and create a schedule of training opportunities;
  • reorganize the budget to include accessibility practices;
  • select which staff can follow through with specific tasks and create an ongoing auditing process;
  • review all policies and make sure all standards include accessibility; and
  • update Canvas resources for faculty to include more demonstrable accessibility info.

Long term, we plan to

  • follow through with scheduled, routine audits of accessibility;
  • review and revise the accessibility plan to include specific language, suggestions for Benchmark Survey of Access360, an executive summary, a training schedule, and target deadlines;
  • establish workflows for approving procurements, design, and modification of web applications;
  • establish a team for testing applications and systems for compliance;
  • identify stable, long-term funding for captioning, as well as assign staff to coordinate;
  • identify staff to run training for accessible document creation and promote these trainings to faculty and staff. Offer PDF remediation and conversion to HTML for some;
  • meet again after Policy #188 is updated;
  • add accessibility knowledge to job descriptions;
  • train web developers and publishers on WCAG;
  • update procedures in October 2019 to match new WCAG 3.0;
  • meet with leadership teams to help get buy-in and create higher priorities for accessibility;
  • include students with disabilities who could assist in reviewing, testing, and developing accessible technology; and
  • create a campus-wide plan for accessibility.