Accessibility Education Technology

Accessibility compliance and sustainable business processes for web, instructional materials, and procurement


  • Cheryl Pruitt (CP), Director, Accessible Technology, CSU Office of the Chancellor
  • Sue Cullen (SC), Assistant Director, CSU Office off the Chancellor
  • Leslie Kennedy (LK), Director, Academic Technology Solutions, CSU Office of the Chancellor

When you think of Accessibility Compliance and Sustainable Business Processes, What comes to Mind?

  • It’s difficult!
  • Voting
  • Reading lunch menu
  • Viewing sports events
  • Frankly anything!

Does this affect many people? YES

  • 2010 census report, about 56.7 million people – 19 percent of the population – had a disability
  • % of undergrads who reported having a disability was 19.4 percent in 15/16
  • 26 percent of undergrads who were vets reported having a disability
  • CSU students with disabilities self identified and validated: 2016 16,429 verified disability!

Accessibility is a Civil Right

  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973, section 504 and 508
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990
  • Campus violations can result in charges of discriminatory practices by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Get buy-in from faculty, staff, and administration on the importance of accessibility as a civil right

Neglecting Accessibility…A Closer Look

  • OCR complaints: student and outsider complaints
  • Lawsuits: National Federation of the Blind, National Association of the Deaf

Sustainable Business Processes to Support

  • Civil rights
  • Students academic pursuits (curriculum, extracurricular)
  • Faculty, staff, administrators and the public
  • Universal Design approach to support goals of inclusion and Civil Rights

ATI Supporting Civil Rights

  • Policy: collaborative development, report development, assessment data – ATI Annual reports, training ATI maturity model
  • Generic sustainable business process development: 3 COPs, Working groups, accessible technology network, proof of concepts, campus exemplar examples shared in COP groups, Sharepoint website.
  • Governed through EO 1111. “It is CSU policy to ensure that individuals with disabilities shall have ewqual access to and the opportunity to participate in CSU programs, activities and services.”

CSU ATI Framework: Policy, 3 priority areas, Strategies

  • CMM: 25 goals and 150+ success indicators
  • Continuous business process improvement with strong executive support
  • Make a campus plan > Work the campus plan > Measure Progress
  • 3 high level priority areas: Procurement, Instructional Materials, Web

ATI Steering Committee

  • Provides support, resources, guides implementation, approves plan and ATI reports.
  • ATI steering committee chair, PM, VPs, Academic Senate, DSS, ADA compliance officer

Determine Impact: ATI Prioritization Framework 5-Step Approach

  1. Assess risk factors (impact, likelihood of significant barriers, probability: likelihood of consequences)
  2. Assign risk level (High, Medium, Low)
  3. Determine campus capacity (What resources needed?)
  4. Set priority level (to determine course of action consider the risk level to campus)
  5. Take action (document decisions, acquire resources needed)

Q: where do success indicators come from? Who created them? CP: no blueprint existed when we started out. We adopted a capability maturity model because of the scale/depth/breadth of scope. Our success criteria ended up appearing in some of our OCR complaints.

Q: is there any data showing student success based on any of this? CP: users are not self-identifying, so it’s tough. We DO have data on students served with accommodations.

Generic sustainable business process development

  • Goals and success indicators provide a roadmap for moving ATI forward: applying status levels, creating generic business processes
  • ATI Prioritization Framework: impact and probability – risk assessment
  • Roles & responsibilities: president appoint ATI sponsor; steering committee

Generic 4 Step Process

  1. Procurement: templates, roles & responsibilities, vendor requirements
  2. VPAT review process and training
  3. Estimated effort to implement process; individual campus: procurement process training and VPAT training
  4. CO procurement product reviews RFPs, MEAs, etc.: Vendor and RFP requirements, document reviews, vendor consultation, vendor demo

ATI Services Network

  • Processes design and template development
  • Library database accessibility documentation critical review
  • Web support for systemwide automated evaluation tool: systemwide shared checkpoints; training


  • Automated and manual systemwide web training: video training & participation assessment
  • For all members of the campus community: intro to accessibility
  • Web Developers: HTML5 accessibility; JS accessibility; Compliance Sheriff Product training
  • Web content creators and web developers
  • Manual evaluation worksheet template and training resource

Instructional Materials

  • AIMHub services
  • Captioning roles & responsibilities 3rd party contract (CaptionSync): training, prioritization, custom video training webinars
  • CommonLook Pilot: tools & remediation services contract
  • Library database reviews
  • Faculty Information Home: navigation of online materials, how-to materials, administrative and planning considerations, shared student work, resources

Cheryl reviewed the procurement working group’s 4-step process development.

CSU Addressing Accessibility Requirements Project (CAARP)

  • Formed to follow-up on the letter to Presidents from Dr. Blanchard
  • Designed to augment/complement and should support the strong foundation of your ongoing ATI projects, ATI staff, and annual ATI self-eval processes that campuses have been conducting for over 10 years
  • Plans should be submitted for review and approval to Chancellor White by September 6, 2019

Who handles issues around CSU compliance?

  • ATI
  • Office of Chancellor, general counsel
  • Audit
Education Technology

NOMI: a tool to secure professor-student connection


  • Whitney Scott (WS), Director of Faculty Development, CSUN
  • Tiffany Navales (TN), UI/UX Designer & Front-End Developer, CSUN

What is it like when someone addresses you by your name? When someone, you don’t expect to know you, says your name, what is your reaction?

“Nobody cares what you know until…they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Why is this important?

Higher education is built largely on what we know. Building relationships is important to humanizing the classroom experience…and learning names is key! Names are political, they represent history and experiences before they come to the classroom. Is there a way for technology to help in this process?

  • ISR: Instructor Student Relationships. Higher quality IS relationships is correlated to student success. Are students engaging? Are instructors calling students by name? Some benefits: motivation, attendance, reduced disruptive behaviors, student willingness to take risks, building trust.
  • People who share traits, attitudes, birthdates are more likely to relate better.
  • Development & oxytocin: generated by the frontal lobe when people are interacting and connecting. Using a student’s name in class helps to create a welcoming environment that can help do this. By contrast, cortisol is generated by an activated amygdala, which is anathema to learning and engagement.

Labor Intensive Paper Strategy

  • Use paper strips with student names written on them to learn student names
  • Have students write their names on construction paper, held in front of them, then take a photo. These images were then combined into a Word document…all students in a class in one document. Very labor intensive!

Student Driven Process

  • Why not use canvas? Canvas can upload a photo/avatar. Face recognition could be difficult when a student uploads (avatars, photos that are outdated, heavily filtered photos). It’s also not very mobile friendly
  • What are the challenges for faculty learning their student’s names?
  • Do you think all faculty would use this?
  • How big is a typical classroom?

NOMI: Names Of Matador Individuals (“Know Me”)

  • Class roster automatically imports
  • Easily review students by semester
  • Take photos of students within the application
  • Take private notes to help remember student interests, likes, similarities, etc.
  • Shared photos so that the more faculty use the web application, the richer the database
  • Integration with a student profile manager for students to individually upload their photos for larger classes
  • Test yourself with flashcards to learn student names
  • It’s mobile friendly!

Tiffany gave a demo of NOMI and the functionality

Q: how long did it take to get the app to this stage? TN: It took over a year.

Q: is this used by the campus? TN: it’s not a campus-wide rollout

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
– Maya Angelou

Education Technology

Compass crm Program year 2: completing the 360 degree view of the student (how we did it, benefits, and how much it cost)


  • Jake Hornsby, CIO, CSU East Bay

Been on this journey for a year and a half, but the mission is the same: make students successful

  • Academic prep
  • Enrollment mgmt
  • Financial aid
  • Student engagement & well-being
  • Data driven decision making
  • administrative barriers

Roadmap: 2017: Kickoff, build team, select vendor and base tools > 2018 Quick wins > 2019 Branch out > 2020+ endless innovation

Going Big: what are we doing or will with CRM?

  • University Extension: manages student lifecycle & interactions between faculty, students and admin; automated comm via marketing cloud; service cloud (planning)
  • ITS: partner program of opportunity tracking and campus wide, open reporting (Tableau)
  • Campus Wide CRM project (Compass): Marketing automations; service for student success (case mgmt, knowledge, live chat, bots; Advancement (gifts, marcom, volunteers, community, social listening); Student community (OrgSync replacement); other (volunteers for Salesforce campus-wide, internships, scholarships, international/grad/other programs; Mobile app (ModoLabs replacement)

Summary of Current Programs

  • Programs: advancement, communications, student community, expanding service cloud
  • Partners: EigenX, Appirio, UC Innovations, Salesforce (5 campus collaboration

Adoption rate bumps every time we bring on new use cases

How does this all work?

All aimed at nudging individuals through to completion:

  1. Marketing and communications
  2. Student Experience/Case Management
  3. Building communities

And the subtext: reducing legacy debt, reducing costs (sort of), simplifying, making a student experience.

Theme 1: Marketing and Communications

Automated marketing, using real people data; social listening and advertising.. We create user journeys, which can branch endlessly. We want to at least know that when they reach a certain stage in the funnel, are they a “hot prospect?”

Theme 2: Student Experience and Case/Queue Management

  • Case Management
  • Forms & requests
  • Chatbots/AI (auto suggest, case deflection)
  • A real one stop shop?

Theme 3: Building Communities

  • Advancement
  • Student
  • Prospective
  • Parents

Giving Control to the Users

  • Graduate/Intl. programs
  • Colleges and programs
  • Student Life
  • Academic Advising
  • Athletics
  • Police
  • Fixing old stuff
  • Hr?
  • Etc.

Total Costs

  • High for professional services/one-time
  • Medium for total recurring
  • Significant replaced/cost avoidance
  • Net difference (but not real, will be reinvested)

General Issues

  • Culture: how to fix? particularly understanding experiences vs. efficiency. Can we have a student experience program without a staff experience one?
  • Products: classic higher ed or open market
  • Partners: which one? and when?
  • People: hard to find, hard to keep; how can we collaborate?

Getting Involved

  • Power of us hub
  • Cal State collaborative (Northridge, Fullerton, Monterey Bay, Chico and East Bay)
  • Local community groups (non-profits are experts)
  • Ask us for a demo…make sure to include primarily administrators!

Q: some constituents want it, what’s their reception to this that can be viewed as an additional set of work? JH: each constituency knows what they want, they want the data pushed to other areas once they have it.

Q: what role does Salesforce play in higher education? JH: I don’t know how to answer that question.

Accessibility Education Technology

Leveraging blackboard A11y and campus “allies” to support a culture of inclusion


  • Shelli Wynants, Director, Online Education and Training, CSUF
  • Willie Peng, AVP, Academic Technology Support Services, CSUF

WP: Started this conversation in early Spring 2018, when we signed the MOU, began testing and deployment, developed a rollout plan, etc. In Summer 2018, we rolled out to about 40 faculty during our Summer “B” session. In 2018 Fall, we added CourseMatch, DSS registered courses, added selective volunteers. In 2019 Spring we enabled for all courses, embarked on a big marketing and training program (we’re getting a lot of great feedback from our faculty about this product). In the near future, we’re enabling for our Moodle Community Instance and doing more marketing and training.

How has your campus implemented A11y?

Q: Are you tracking how many people are responding to your MarCom emails? WP: No, but we’re planning to switch to a new email program so that we can do that. SW: all emails do come to me, but I only fielded one negative comment from faculty.

Q: DRC connection: did they give you a list of classes? SW: Yes! So it was turned on for all of those classes.

COMMENT: at SM, we rolled it out quickly. It was not received as well as we had hoped. Lots of faculty were doing remediation of materials that we didn’t know about. We’re going to involve marketing going forward.

Leveraging Campus Allies

SW: Our Academic Technology Center is our #1 stop. Instructional designers help out with most common kinds of things, like remediation of Word documents. We also have GrackleDocs for Google Docs, Forms and Slides. We turned on VoiceThread auto captioning for presentations and discussions and that’s worked out well for us (this is complimentary to services we receive from Automatic Sync Technologies). IT completely revamped our accessible technology website.

Q: how did you go about training? SW: we created a 3-part certificate, totally online training. #1 Accessibility Awareness, #2 universal design for learning, #3 creating accessible documents and presentations. Training is individual, not cohort. We’ve had a lot of non-faculty taking this training as well.

SW: We have grant money for OER: Student Success Series for Faculty Summer 2019. I give $100 to each person who completes the certificate…I had 35!

Our goal for staff is to take 5 courses in professional development. We have lots of material on A11y, Universal Design for Learning, and more. We start with equity, student success and then dive into accessibility.

What resources does your campus use to leverage A11y as part of a larger campus discussion about inclusion? Which campus “allies” are involved on your campus for promoting a culture of inclusion?

Q from CSUMB: you’re a “pull” type of organization…it’s all opt-in. Is anyone else doing a broader “we’re going to remediate things en-masses, set a baseline and get the work done?” SW: I think we’d have a faculty revolt if we attempted that!

Q: Would focusing on new faculty be a good idea? WP: yes. We’re also using CourseMatch and remediating as appropriate (the provost is behind us on this). SW: we’ve found that the certificate goes a long way toward providing motivation. A door sign or micro-credential might be useful in this way, too.

Q: are you planning on turning on the scoring part? SW: no, not yet. However, we thought we might turn it on for our early adopters/volunteers. It would be good if we had another campus’ experience to learn from. Some campuses have resolutions around maintaining accessibility for all coursework. SW: I think our policies are generally like this, but enforcement is a question. WP: we have 2 different Moodle instances, one is for coursework, the other is for “community.”

Next Steps

  • Student Awareness: campaign to promote accessing instructional materials using alternate format
  • Support: student, faculty, staff
  • Escalation: bugs, features
  • Additional tools to support accessibility: provide tools to address accessibility at document creation

Student awareness: advisors, res life, new students, U100 classes, email address for a11y, blocks of text explaining what a11y is (messaging like “you can listen in the gym, on the train,” etc. for ePub).

Support: WP we have a faculty support center AND a student support center; walk-in centers have been helpful.

Escalation: channel to submit bugs and feature requests.

Additional tools to support accessibility: WP we’re trying to be more pro-active and catch thing early (doing things in post-production is a lot more challenging). We’re trying to create a community among all constituencies to create learning materials about making documents accessibly.

What are you doing on your campuses?

Q: Filetypes…what are people telling folks about saving and uploading particular types of files? SW: we direct faculty to our module 3. CSU MB: faculty that create their materials from pre-existing materials? Yeah, that can be kind of tough. SW: we tend to help out with Word documents the most, and we have an in-house “guru” on PDF accessibility.

Q: what are you doing on your campuses? Filetypes…what are people telling folks about saving and uploading particular types of files. SW: we direct faculty to our module 3. CSU MB: faculty that create their materials from pre-existing materials? Yeah, that can be kind of tough. SW: we tend to help out with Word documents the most, and we have an in-house “guru” on PDF accessibility.

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