Concepts

  • Support Disability Support Services (DSS)
    • Many people think DSS is responsible for all things accessible. While they really do have super powers, they cannot bear the responsibility of making sure everything at your institution is accessible. For example, they do not make/review/approve all materials (and we wouldn’t want them to, right?). Second, they aren't Canvas experts, and  they don't always know how to make materials accessible themselves. Thus, we really need to recognize that everyone has a role in promoting/ensuring accessibility.
    • DSS focuses on making sure people with documented disabilities have the assistive technology they need and identify what constitutes appropriate accommodation. They address the needs of the student, the institution, and the faculty while keeping abreast of a number of disability rights laws and policies. I don't know how they do that without superpowers. 
    • Suggested is to include DSS staff in conversations about new technology purchases. They will serve as a great reminder that not all technology is accessible and can help ask vendors about accessibility.
    • Let them know you are working on your course to make it more accessible.
    • Don't send your stuff to DSS to make it accessible (unless they've offered to help - which is sometimes the case with captioning).
    • If you're an instructor, don't ignore accommodations notices - this will leave you with very little time to ensure the student's rights are being respected.
  • Put Pressure on Publishers/Vendors
    • This was covered on the previous page, and is being brought up again because it's important to remind publishers (and vendors) of the importance of accessibility.
    • Publishers and vendors are not responsible if their materials and resources are inaccessible. You are responsible for selecting, using, and requiring their materials. So, tell them you're only interested in accessible materials. Use your purchasing power to advocate for accessibility.
    • Here are a few easy things to do:
      • Hang the ‘Hello Publisher’ sign on your office door
      • When a publisher/vendor emails you, paste the following into your email response, whether or not you are interested in the product
        • Thanks so much for contacting me about this new product. Before I give it a look, I need you to answer the following questions:
        • Is this product accessible for people with disabilities? If so, explain what measures you've taken to make it accessible. 
        • What web guidelines do you follow to ensure 508 compliance?
        • Is a VPAT available?
        • If you are unaware of the WA State law requiring that students have access to accessible course materials, please check out RCW 28B.10.916 http://apps.leg.wa.gov/Rcw/default.aspx?cite=28B.10.916
  • Accessibility is Part of Equity
    • There are a lot of conversations about student equity and student success, but people forget about people with disabilities in these conversations. As efforts are being made to ensure every student is supported, let's not forget students with disabilities.
    • We would never deny a student access due to their race, gender, religion, or social class. But ignoring the needs and rights of students with disabilities is equivalent to doing that. Remind people that disability status is to be included in any conversation around equity and opportunity. Leverage those conversations and priorities to increase the resources for accessibility.

Contact eLearning & Open Education, WA SBCTC

  Jess Thompson/Program Administrator

   360.704.4327
Fax: 360.442.xxxx
  jessthompson@sbctc.edu

  Steve Gance, Ph.D./Policy Associate

   360.442.xxxx
Fax: 360.442.xxxx
  sgance@sbctc.edu

  Alissa Sells/Program Administrator

   360.442.xxxx
Fax: 360.442.xxxx
  asells@sbctc.edu

  Amy Rovner/MPH RD Instructional Designer, Shoreline Community College

   360.442.xxxx
Fax: 360.442.xxxx
  arovner@shoreline.edu

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