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The discussion results will be used when proposing and drafting the revised and renamed Digital Accessibility Policy.

Group A: Training

Flip chart notes

  • Clearly know what, when, and how in the training
  • Frequent training, and easily findable
    • easy access in interface
  • Varied media
    • in person
    • online
  • Online help resources
  • Training content ubiquitious
  • Message consistent

Discussion notes

Current Challenges / Barriers
  • Requirements to meet accessibility changes.

  • WAI-ARIA Recommendations are difficult to understand

  • Large quantity of content to remediate, where do you begin? What is the priority?

  • Document accessibility is mystifying.

  • Lack of training, lack of tools to aid / inform.

  • Don’t know what accessible means... What types or classifications are there within accessibility?

  • Why should I care? What if my project sponsor doesn’t care?

  • No clear understanding regarding where to go for help, and who to ask.

  • How do we train and onboard when people are getting hired in all different areas of campus.

  • Ways to test our work. Teach me how to test. How does JAWS work? How do I incorporate this into my dev process? Teach me best procedures for doing this right. If I want to test, how do I get a screen reader?

  • Less choice and confusion. Guidelines should support approved processes.

  • Campus efforts with UMark, DoIT Wordpress Team need to be in sync with Accessibility Guidance. Guidance should be ubiquitous across campus.

  • Requirements haven’t been enforced historically, confusing to suddenly need to.

  • There are no metrics to aim for. No milestones set. Prioritization. Can’t do it all at once. Don’t know where to start or how it is paid for...

  • How do I know how someone uses assistive technology to make my digital content accessible?

  • Administration is not always willing to commit staff time to figure this out and follow through / maintain effort. It’s too hard to find time and resources to devote to figuring this out. Can we make that easier?

  • When creating dynamic / interactive training artifacts - there is so much visual and doesn’t cooperate with screen readers and assistive technology.

  • We don’t know what the law is, or what we are supposed to comply with. Should be common knowledge.

  • When content is owned by students or faculty, it’s harder to control and keep accessible. Where do they begin?

  • Who is responsible for accessibility and resources to support it?

  • There is a cultural disconnect between campus wide expectations and where the rubber meets the road at the unit level.

  • Technology is always changing, hard to keep up.

  • Accessibility doesn’t have enough influence within our organization right now.

Required training and resources
  • Accessibility patterns and examples to refer to - employment of a design system.

    • Examples with information regarding the intentional design behind the design pattern.

    • Practical guidance for designers, developers, and faculty

  • Annual Accessibility Skill refresh opportunities

  • Training on testing methods, accuracy as well as remediation skills

  • Learning how to test with users

  • Training on types of disabilities and how to consider user context

  • Teach faculty the most accessible use of canvas.

  • How to do due diligence and get sign-off for publishing

  • Metrics for reporting and comparison to illustrate progress or areas of need.

  • How to address accessibility audit issues, user complaints or requests for accommodation.

  • How to plan for accommodation needs.

  • Updates and guidelines, coding requirements

  • Roles and responsibilities

  • Train the trainer content for unit evangelists to help with facilitating capacity raising in their departments.

  • More institutional tools to assess and evaluate state of accessibility.

Training methods
  • Online training

  • Face to face bootcamp

  • One stop shop of digital resources

  • Ubiquitous appearance of content, design, and development guidance throughout UW-Madison documentation and representation. Example: - easy and actionable guidance.

  • FAQ of common questions or needs

  • Training refresh frequency: Annual

  • Training offerings frequency: at least once a semester

What are the things we need to reach out goal?
  • Leadership, faculty, and staff accountability baked into our PDs.

    • Campus onboarding for existing staff.

    • Centrally funded onboarding for new staff.

  • Funding to support development and implementation of a strategy and trainings.

    • Resources to bring in both internal and external training

  • Transparency in annual reporting where we are, what we need to do, and where we need to be as an institution.

  • Funding to supply the institution with accessibility tools like JAWS licenses to individual testers, automated testing software that is easy and usable, and easy digital channels for reporting accessibility progress to the institution.

  • Funding to create a ubiquitous UW-Madison Accessible Design System that everyone can use to get digital components for creating accessible content for websites (that integrate with UW Theme) and applications.

  • Campus commitment statement and mission statement as well as policy stating the importance of accessibility and requiring that:

    • digital content can not discriminate against people with disabilities

    • Inaccessible digital content must register and be approved an exception with the Office of the CIO, and provide a documented / approved accommodation reachable via self service in a timely manner.

  • Funding must support an accessibility help line for faculty and staff to get assistance with making content accessible.

  • Funding must include:

    • Centrally funded staff to answer questions and address issues for faculty and staff assistance.

    • Centrally funded staff to support faculty and staff accessibility concerns

    • Centrally funded staff to provide testing and remediation work and guidance.

Group B: Testing and Authorization to Publish

Flip chart notes

  • Call it: Evaluating and Deciding to Publish
  • Decision tree - how much work up front, what to accomondate
  • Guidance on what to do to make top things accessible
  • Acquisition process:
    • $0 to $50,000+
  • Equivalent alternatives

Discussion notes

  • Discussion notes
  • Change the name to "Evaluate and Deciding to Publish” and should not just include testing then pulshinging… but SHOULD the content be published?
  • Change purchasing to accusation (you can get something for free). Anything you are doing, what is the scope and impact of the audience. 
  • How do we decided if a purchased product meets our requirements for ADA?
  • Processes are not consistent across campus units, sometimes just write and publish, sometimes will evaluate before publish
  • ADA should be built into the tool (so editors cannot make ada mistakes)
  • staff that find something cool and will just post it to share, or just scan books and post it. Often on google drive or box. How is that content accessible? 
  • Many do not have a process - some do, but do not know they have a process
  • Would be nice to have a list of criteria, guidelines, elements that need to be addressed/checked off when creating content
  • How can google docs be accessible?
  • What do we do when something is necessary, but hard to create/implement accessible? 
  • How to evaluate if a vender?
  • There isn’t one size fits all answers
    • are sites uw or vender? 
    • long term sites or short term? 
    • what is the audience? 
  • Would be nice to have a check list: “If it’s this visual component, do x” …”If it’s this audio component… do Y”
  • Different layers of issues:  faculty dropping things into box or google drive vs building apps, vs content editors in cms
  • Apps vs web pages may have different needs
  • Difference in time spent if public facing vs staff vs admin?
  • If the choice is between works perfectly and free, but not as complient, vs doesn’t work as well, expensive but is complient… what do you do? 
  • There needs to be considerations made based on evaluation of needs and audience
  • there is a lot more to making something accessible (and it’s not just alt tags)
  • at bottom of pages “if you need this, contact us” does this work anymore? 
  • Faculty and Staff may not think about ADA need up front (may assume that if there is a McBurney student, that McBurney will take care of it). By the time they find out they may have made slides or not inaccessible, they don’t have time to update it (already into the semester)
  • Scoping component — who’s the audience? Does the student HAVE to do it?  Having some “buckets”… “public” vs “internal” vs critical? vs high traffic?
  • How hard is it to make accessible? If it’s only for 5 people is it worth the energy
    • If a professor has developed an entire semester worth of stuff, and (for example) has lots of visuals, they won’t have time to go back and make accommodations in retrospect? 
    • Give them guidance… help them navigate their requirements
  • Flow chart idea to help users figure out what needs to be done to make content
  • ada compliantUncertainty as to what the rules are… what specifically needs to be done. 
    • The “law” says should be accessible…. doesn’t say HOW… 
  • can we help put people into the mindset of what somebody with a disability may be going though
    • guidelines, checklist, flowchart
    • can you put yourself into the mindset of the person with the disability
  • Need an evaluation of some kind… committee.. self, organization, etc
  • What are the tools we have? is there documentation on what needs to be done in (for example) for a google doc to make it accessible? 
  • mandating consideration of accessibility in the purchase is good - but can’t mandating HOW you do that because it’s dependent on what you are doing. 
  • the policy is that you must consider ADA
  • The application may not need to be accessible, but the information does. How can the content be accessible? What accommodation can be made? 
  • What steps can be taken to make marketing materials more accessible.
  • CMS can be very accessible, but content can destroy accessibility
  • How to encourage content editors to use use default settings in CMS (if there are already setup) so they stay within setup ADA requirements 
  • Who is held responsible for something? for a purchased product? is it the vender? or us? 
  • Who is being held accountable for accessibility problems?
  • Concerns for stuff in box and google docs that are created by faculty and are not part of IT… IT didn’t give “authorization to publish” because we don’t know they exist - so how can IT make sure all content on the web (for their department) is accessible?
  • How do you get people to think about evaluation as part of their work process?
  • Uncertainty folks have had about how much venders are ACTUALLY thinking about accessibility (its a moving target for everybody… even venders)
  • How do you get folks to intentionally thinking about content (don’t put content out that doesn’t NEED to be there). 
  • There is confusion about what’s in “scope” and what is considered “Digital” (web pages, web apps, vender apps, kiosks, pds on box, google docs, online slides for classes, etc).

General obversations about the discussion

  • Most of the talk was around content — specifically around how to professors create content that is accessible (like when they put information in google docs, or scan book pages for a class)
  • Most folks around the table feel very strongly about the topic. They can quickly cite examples where making content accessible will be challenging (google docs, scanned books, professor slides, vender apps, etc), but are not sure how to remedy it. All are really looking for a “check list” to follow, but still allow flexibility to evaluate based on the specific needs and criteria of the project they are working on. 
  • There was a universal agreement that there won’t necessarily be a “one size fits all” solution - but they still would love a check list that gives steps to follow to make content accessible 
  • There was a lot of passion in the conversation, and some hints of fear over losing control (specially it felt like there was concern that there would be very hard rules to follow that they may not be able to given their situations, venders, time constraints, etc.)… but there wasn’t any disagreement that it SHOULD be done. Really just a lot of confusion and uncertainty on how to handle the magnitude of the task.
  • It was a large group, but overall there were really 3-4 voices heard
  • Even after asking what people do (how technical are they) there still isn’t a clear answer. Folks entering content view themselves as developers… and developers view themselves as content editors. The majority of the conversation was around content pretty specifically and didn’t get overly technical - the technical level of the group may not have been as high. Something to keep in mind as we talk about the “technical” portion of ADA. 

Group C: Liaisons & Community

Flip chart notes

  • Silos
  • Fragmented islands of expertise
  • How to get inforamtion out
  • Have service providers who span units serve as liaisons, rather than individual units with liaisons
  • Onboarding coordinators

Initial questions

    1. What technical/professional campus communities do you identify with, belong to, and/or participate in currently?  How active are those communities?
      • C-purchasing goes across everything always doing some type of purchasing; captioning; vendors and requirements - find out their abilities
      • Web developer- all online--video can be included or on its own- anything online for admissions
      • DoIt PM projects for new tech solutions- etech called Engage; student learning assessment- course learning assessment online affects PM
      • AT- LearnIT at UW shell for content
      • Mgr user services - websites, taught some accessibility; worked on software applications and technology
      • AIMS- customer engagement and learning services- website all customer and admin; training, communication to customer based; IT Professional Conference; servers/development/supports- incident team-help desk-field services making sure hardware is delivered and works
      • Wordpress and communication and purchasing- high overview, bids and contracts uphold standards
    2. Do those campus groups/communities discuss or provide information on accessibility?
      • Analytics and etechs –
      • Meet with all parties and sponsors, for budget and finance, and purchase and actual tech people; have access to them; outside of continuing ed for PM; don’t have a lot of communication between campus
      • Not a lot of interconnection for departments-- not a list
      • Brown bags around accessibility and ADA
      • List web team did webcast facilitation on guidelines and policies- tried to take off on our own; look at DoIT - web press- when trying to put together I was relieved- watching and seeing what’s involved
      • Big change now-2001 learn how to do accessibility; assumption write it up, put in tool, website comes out-- if accessibility is baked into tool; learn about accessibility and how to use the tool, still have to check
      • Many sites on campus that are having issues- you still need to learn how to do it, display, still have to check
    3. What communities have you found?
      • Wordpress on campus- with accessibility sprung up out of needs- campus needs more communication
      • Need a resource place to find out; as far as tools, maybe there are only 1-2 others - natural silos
      • There are delegated agency meetings - Big 10 procurement peer review; dialogue along UW systems -- high level and then LNS have similar roles? Centralized? Less than 5 that are delegated agent group
      • SSCC is a group that you can reach to put together a session- look to us for training, across a number of divisions

What ideas do you have for effective cross-campus liaison training, authority, and coordination?

  • By title, or key people? With expertise and authority? Need both of them? Probably need a blend of them
  • We don’t have any expertise- train IT people? How do we identify?
  • New CIO
  • Who are the managers- we’re academic units- institutions have very little power
  • Tell them “it’s the right thing to do”-- minimal training and resources
  • Need to hold the legal issue over them
  • Must be the message that persuades them
  • New Asst Director- train and share information
  • Learning support services within LSS
  • Process:
    • Bring people on and start the description
    • Rotating group of people- general leadership that could be a good fit-engagement, inclusion, and accessibility
  • Is there ever an issue of federal money being taken away if not accessible? No, unless it’s a grant.
  • Can we provide funding for this initiative? Community education, etc.
  • In 2001 students would go to faculty and help them build accessible websites- some of them still available
  • Students are involved in this in hot topic and can possibly be used
  • List of all web developers or IT people-


  • Lists don’t exist for department heads, project management
  • Everybody knows what they are doing, but they aren’t willing to say what they are doing (sharing best practices)

○     People struggling with how to make materials that meet _____ but that are accessible

  • The shift to tools (WordPress, Canvas) is a big shift as we are no longer having to teach people how to build web pages… have to be careful as people assume that it is taken care of.  Can’t be message that it’s just baked in…. There’s still things you need to do.
  • Groups spring up and then fade

Groups that are out there (how do you find out about them? Hit or miss to hear about what is going on)

  • Community of practice around use of UW them
  • Purchasing (BTAA is at Wisconsin this year) - Campus plus delegated

Ideas about liaisons

  • Onboarding coordinators are important
  • Academic Technology and LSS


Group D: Measuring Institutional Success

Flip chart notes

  • Don't panic, know how to respond
  • Shared responsibility
  • Have tools to measure
  • Complaint process
  • Collecting success stories

Discussion notes

  • If we were successful institutionally, what would that look like?
    • wouldn’t get sued (lowest bar)
    • wouldn’t get complaints
    • individuals wouldn’t need to make requests
    • individuals would know who to make requests if needed to and that person would know what to do
    • advertised avenues for people to make requests
    • the person receiving the concern wouldn’t panic/would know what to do/have a baseline of what to do because there is a process in place to do something about it
    • regular checking
      • ideally doing regular checks/sweeps and not find anything
      • if you find something then it’s proactively fixed
      • not a burden on someone to make a request to fix, we find it before that
    • the user experience isn’t that they can’t do a thing, but that they don’t feel like they are a burden that someone has to help/take care of/fix
    • don’t treat it as a problem or that the individual is/has a problem
    • this is a shared responsibility
    • recognize that this is an ongoing issue and will never be done
    • do more than just get by, don’t have the perception that we are doing this just to cover our butts, but rather that we are doing it because we care
    • ongoing evaluation process, actively surveying people – did we meet/exceed the standard?
    • funding wouldn’t be a concern/wouldn’t be a barrier
    • be an advocate for people with accessibility needs
    • UW-Madison be viewed as a leader in accessibility, be the benchmark. Part of our excellence mission.
  • Components
  1. Design
  2. being ready for rapid response
  3. looking to the future and what may need to be done then
  • How can we be ready to adapt/change/fix? What would that take?
    • Communication change
    • Improve communication hand offs
      • example of an Engineering student that they make accessibility updates to accommodate physical access to the building, but word didn’t get to IT that they should evaluate their computer labs so they could plan/change
    • create a TAG to monitor/track on this?
  • Who currently has tools/ability to accommodate people with accessibility needs?
    • knowledgebase?
    • cross campus collaboration/communication – ask techpartners and you may find someone who has already worked with this and can help/advise
  • What are some concerns/issues/challenges?
    • Feel like you have to know the answer when this comes up, and don’t have it. Puts responder on the defensive.
    • That individuals may not complain/comment until they hit their breaking point and just deal with it until then
    • One accommodation doesn’t fit all. Example: a workstation designed to work with people with accessibility needs won’t fit all needs even those of similar natures.  Each individual’s adaptive equipment may not work/interface the same with other equipment.
    • will it affect our ability to be innovative? Or be perceived as one?
      • is this about in our ability to choose vendors/products? Or in what we ourselves innovate?
      • table seems unanimous in not feeling that this would be an issue
    • How do we track/respond on what the new best software/solution is?  What is the best right now may not be next year.
    • What’s the cost of doing this?
      • What’s the cost of not doing it?
    • Don’t use changing and improving technology as an excuse to not work on accessibility with the assumption that there will be a technology fix somewhere in the future.
  • General theme:
    • turn the volume up/put a spotlight on this.
    • educational component to make people aware.
    • in a changing environment, what does it take from an institutional perspective to maintain a state of readiness and ability to respond?
  • Currently this may be relating to a small population, but if we work on accommodating them, that population could grow and UW-Madison could become known as a place that works as working with accessibility needs and draw more individuals with needs to us.


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