Breaking through the Apathy Fog: An Awareness Campaign for Digital Accessibility in Higher Education

Scheduled at 8:00am in Plaza Court 1 on Thursday, November 18.

#34054

Speaker(s)

  • Michele Bromley, IT Accessibility Coordinator, Portland State University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference

Summary

One of the biggest barriers to digital accessibility in higher education is limited awareness. This presentation will detail Portland State University’s efforts to facilitate lasting accessibility change through awareness and capacity building, focusing on practical resources, sustainable support models, and strategic communication.

Abstract

Barriers to digital accessibility in higher education are not typically related to willful resistance. More often, it comes down to limited awareness, a measurable lack of practical knowledge related to the need for accessible design. Faculty and staff are often unaware that their digital content might be inaccessible to people with disabilities. This presentation will detail Portland State University’s efforts to facilitate lasting accessibility change through awareness and capacity building. Our efforts have resulted in scalable consultation support; a growing IT Accessibility Knowledge Base; cohort-based certification opportunities; large-scale professional development events; self-paced remediation practicums; and coordinated communications around critical digital accessibility themes. These interrelated and often interdependent efforts have resulted in dramatically increased awareness and associated commitment to digital accessibility change efforts at Portland State University.

Keypoints

  1. Meaningful accessibility change efforts in higher education begin with awareness and capacity building.
  2. Modifying existing training systems to include accessibility can be the quickest path to increased awareness.
  3. Sustainable accessibility support models depend on continued awareness through communication and practice.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Institutional/Campus Change, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Michele Bromley

Michele Bromley, M.A., is the IT Accessibility Coordinator for the Office of Information Technology at Portland State University (PSU). In this capacity, she serves as a digital accessibility resource for the University—providing support, technical direction, and assessment related to the accessibility of new and existing information and communication technologies. Michele also currently serves on the Executive Council for the Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN). Her primary areas of expertise are accessible digital design, digital accessibility validation, and adaptive technology.