Three Years to Better Accessibility

Scheduled at 9:15am in Colorado G-H on Wednesday, November 16.

#36338

Speaker(s)

  • Lucy Greco, Web Accessibility Evangelist, University of California, Berkeley
  • Thea Chhun, Campus Communication Access Specialist, University of California, Berkeley

Session Details

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

Summary

At UC Berkeley, we are launching a pilot program to improve digital accessibility under the University of California Information Technology Accessibility Policy. The presentation will go over the first year of our project, including the remediation process for our 200 “top” campus websites and how we are handling video captioning inaccessibility. We will also discuss the tools we are utilizing and how we are leveraging our people to obtain the most effective outcomes for our project.

Abstract

Post secondary institutions are currently under threat of litigation for inaccessible content. Several bellwether cases have recently demonstrated the legal liabilities our campuses face from the Department of Justice. Many universities are challenged by having to meet vigorous timelines to fix websites that are inaccessible.

The pandemic has also exposed the digital gap for people with disabilities. As academic instruction--and our campus in large part--transitioned online, we saw a larger number of students with disabilities struggling to access digital content. This talk aims to address the barriers that students continue to face in the digital environment.

We would like to present our strategy to proactively addressing the gaps that the pandemic and recent litigated cases have exposed within postsecondary institutions. We have two primary objectives. Our first goal is to remediate our top 200 campus websites. In our talk, we will share our plans, processes, and initial findings. We will cover the following in our talk: 1. We will share how we chose the stakeholders and the partnerships we have created. 2. We will discuss our plans for training campus staff and web developers, and the hands-on remediation process we have developed. 3. We will also share messaging and processes we have created for digital accessibility at our campus, such as our exception and accessibility barrier reporting processes.

The second component of our project is addressing video captioning needs. We will cover how we plan to identify uncaptioned and/or automatically captioned videos; and our method to identify legacy content and how we plan to address this category when it comes to captioning and websites. We will also share strategies for reducing costs and labor associated with captioning.

By end of session, the audience will understand legal risks we are currently facing as a higher education institution, and an idea of how to start their own accessibility project.

Keypoints

  1. The accessibility of procured digital technology differ between companies.
  2. Website remediation is dependent on how informed and willing developers are to fixing issues.
  3. Campus policy around digital access is dependent on how campuses prioritize accessibility.

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Assistive Technology, Captioning/Transcription, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Lucy Greco

Lucy Greco has been blind since birth. She first started using computers in 1985. Lucy has always felt that computers gave her an advantage while in college that many blind people did not have before that. Having a computer throughout college meant that she never had to get an extension on a paper or have somebody else re-write the paper so her professor could read it.

Using various forms of assistive technology (such as a scanner using optical character recognition), Lucy realized the potential for technology to include people with disabilities in everyday activities. Upon graduating from college, instead of continuing her interest in literature and physical therapy, Lucy became an accessible technology specialist.

Since then, people have come to Lucy asking questions, such as: How can I experience email as a blind person? How can I experience using a word processor as a person who can't use his/her hands?

Lucy’s passion drove her to find the answers to these questions and more. In 2005, Lucy joined the UC Berkeley Disabled Students Program as the Assistive Technology Specialist. For eight years she consulted with hundreds of UC Berkeley students on what the best technology for a person with a disability was and how a person with a disability can use required technology. In 2012, Lucy joined IST as the campus Web Accessibility Evangelist, and now leads the Electronic Accessibility Committee.

Thea Chhun

Thea is an alum of UC Berkeley College of Letters & Sciences and of UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare, with a concentration in Strengthening Organizations and Communities. As a first generation Cambodian American and bilingual woman of color, Thea’s lived experiences has driven her long history of community advocacy work. As part of the UC Berkeley Disability Access & Compliance team, Thea coordinates campus access programs across UC Berkeley; including increasing IT accessibility under the UC Information Technology Accessibility Policy(link is external), and Emergency Evacuation Planning to establish standards of emergency preparedness with campus stakeholders for people with disabilities.