Mar 17 2015

Chief of Digital Accessibility – CU, Boulder

Jones appointed Chief Digital Accessibility Officer

February 2, 2015

In May Chancellor DiStefano announced the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Services and Applications Accessibility Project, aimed to improve the accessibility of CU-Boulder’s digital environment. The project’s goal is to provide appropriate IT resources to our students, faculty, staff and visitors with disabilities, whether they come to our physical campus, or to our presence in cyberspace.

In order to more effectively advance this goal, effective Jan. 1, Dan Jones, current CU-Boulder Director of IT Security and University of Colorado VP of Information Security/Chief Information Security Officer, has assumed the additional title and role of Chief Digital Accessibility Officer (CDAO). Jones’ experience will enable him to facilitate long-standing accessibility improvements and encourage cultural change. He will be responsible for monitoring and overseeing information and communication technology accessibility for individuals with disabilities. His current university systemwide role as CISO will also facilitate sharing campus accessibility improvements with the rest of the university.

Progress Thus Far

This project consists of an executive team, steering team, working group and four core project teams that are comprised of CU-Boulder faculty as well as staff from Disability Services, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), Human Resources, Procurement Services, University Counsel, University Communications and other units on campus.

Since the campus update in November, the project teams have made significant strides in integrating digital accessibility into our campus including the following:

  • The launch of the IT Accessibilty website:
    • Here you will find news and updates about the initiative, draft policy and accompanying standards and best practices for creating a digitally accessible classroom
    • This site will continue to evolve and be the source for all digital accessibility information
  • The integration of accessibility reviews into the Office of Information Technology’s project management process, including vendor selection processes
  • An initial accessibility remediation for Google Apps for Education
  • An assessment and guidance to improve accessibility for Desire2Learn, Turnitin, and VoiceThread
  • Beginning an assessment of online student portal and digital signage
  • Drafts of campus ICT Policy, Procedure and Standards are available for campus review

Implementation of the Information and Communications Technology Program

To make certain we never underestimate the importance of digital accessibility on our campus, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Services program has been developed. In addition to the new Chief Digital Accessibility Officer role, this program will also include an ICT Accessibility Coordinator and a Universal Design Consultant.

Recruitment for the ICT Accessibility Coordinator has begun. The ICT Accessibility Coordinator, in collaboration with other ICT stakeholders, will provide faculty and staff information about their obligations to ensure ICT accessibility and further provide resources to assist in meeting those obligations, including instruction on how to make digital information accessible and how to both manually check and use automated tools to ensure the accessibility of such content.

Just the Beginning

This project and program are just at the beginning of a campuswide initiative. Ensuring our digital environment is accessible to everyone will require attention across the campus community. While the team will solicit feedback from campus governance groups, such as Boulder Faculty Assembly, Staff Council and IT governance advisory groups, it is important that we collect feedback from across the campus community. Please take a moment to visit the IT Accessibility website and provide feedback via the online form.

Last week, the university filed an additional update with the Department of Justice about all of these activities. Thank you for your continued support and commitment in ensuring the services we provide are accessible to all. The team will continue to share updates about the progress towards creating a more accessible digital environment at CU-Boulder.

– See more at:

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Jan 16 2015

Web Accessibility Specialist Job Description

From Brandeis University

Brandeis University is extending its search for a Web Accessibility Specialist.  This position will work collaboratively with a new Information Design Accessibility Specialist.

Web Accessibility Specialist
, reporting to the SVP of Communications

Brandeis University is looking for a Web Accessibility Specialist to educate the Brandeis community regarding obstacles to accessibility in the university’s web-based content presence and to train faculty and staff on how to make web-based content accessible.  This person will perform central oversight, technical leadership, expert guidance, coordination, and support to departments and programs in their use of the web, with a focus on promoting, assessing, and maintaining web accessibility.

Outreach and Training
Develops, designs and implements outreach and training on web accessibility for faculty and staff.  Clarifies and communicates the accessibility requirements for all university websites including departments, institutes, and courses.  Serves as the first point-of-contact for questions about implementing changes.
Develops handouts and online tutorials and resources.  Offers workshops to provide real-time assistance to faculty/staff to launch the university’s efforts.  Partners with colleagues in Communications, Disabilities Services and the Center for Teaching and Learning in this outreach.

Design and Production
Partners with colleagues in Communications and LTS to develop accessible templates and documents.
Oversees captioning service for digital media published on the Brandeis website or Brandeis’s YouTube channel.
Collaborates with clients on the creation of accessible content and its integration into  web and course sites
Assist in website redesign process and ensure accessibility requirements are applied to the end product.

Monitoring and Follow-up
Trains faculty and staff on tools to assess accessibility and to respond to assessment tools.
Uses monitoring software and provides follow-up to reports.
Responsible for monitoring and reporting to the university on website accessibility compliance.

Provides advocacy and mentorship on accessibility, usability, and user-centered design to faculty, staff, and the campus.
Strives to ensure that all web interfaces are accessible to a diverse population.
Coordinates the planning and implementation of web accessibility-related initiatives across units
Participates in cross-unit accessibility team

Bachelor’s Degree Required; Master’s Degree Strongly Preferred
Four years of web design and production experience on a web development team.
Three years of web accessibility analysis, design, and development experience.
Experience working effectively in highly collaborative, team oriented environments.
Experience in a higher education environment preferable; demonstrated experience working with faculty.
Skills/ability to monitor externally hosted Brandeis sites (YouTube, Facebook, etc) for accessibility.  Experience with captioning and audio description techniques.
Excellent interpersonal and communications skills.
Demonstrated ability to lead projects effectively and independently to completion.
Commitment to diversity and to serving the needs of a diverse population.

Licenses and Certifications

Familiar with technology accessibility laws and standards, including Section 508, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), MA-EAS1 and MA-WAS2
Working knowledge of Javascript, HTML, and CSS (AJAX, XML, Python, php/MySQL preferred)
Professional knowledge of best practices for accessible web sites and applications
Familiar with best practices for accessible audio/visual technologies
Able to use accessibility evaluation tools, such as the WebAIM WAVE, to assess the accessibility of web sites
Proficient with assistive technology tools such as JAWS or Window-Eyes (preferred)
Familiar with WAI-ARIA (preferred)
Experience with content management systems and learning management systems.
Strong organizational and project management skills.

How to Apply
Submit cover letter and resume as a single document at  Elect option for “External Applicant”.   Sort the job listing by clicking the Job ID column heading.  Locate the desired job listing.  Click the job title and then Apply Now.

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Dec 11 2014

Web Accessibility Tutorials

Published by under Uncategorized and tagged: , ,

Excellent resource of the fundamentals of web accessbility…

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Nov 03 2014

Access iQ Web Accessibility Validator

Published by under Validation

This tool came up on the UC EALT listserve. Will need to test and review when I have the opportunity.

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Sep 04 2014

UCI Recommended Tools for Accessibility & Validation

Provided by Todd McGill, UC EALT Web Accessibility Representative, UCI & Robert Espero, EALT member


WAVE – free page-by-page scan. There’s also a Firefox extension.

SSB Bart AMP – The ‘official’ tool used by UC to conduct yearly site scans. There’s definitely a leaning curve with this one, so let me know if you need help using it.

Total Validator – I use this one all the time. Love it. Does accessibility, validation, and link checking. Free for page-by-page scans, $50 for the pro tool, which does site-wide scans. Well worth the money.

Color Contrast Checker



DSC Cheat Sheet for Screen Readers – New to screenreaders and want to know how to utilize them with browsers? Basic startup commands to get you started are available here:

JAWS (PC) (Job Access With Speech) – FREE 45-minute trial version (per day) available for testing.

NVDA (PC) (Non-Visual Desktop Access) -FREE screen reader for Windows.

Window-Eyes (PC) – Screen reading tool for Windows. Free download with any licensed Microsoft Office product.

VoiceOver (Apple OS)– Screen reader built into OS X.

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Jul 22 2014

Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Web Access

SSB Bart has composed a good, simple video to demonstrate the use of voice recognition (VR). View it at:


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Jul 08 2014

Web Headings for Screen Readers

Published by under Design and tagged: , ,

Great explanation video as to the importance of headings for screenreaders…



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Jun 24 2014

On-Screen Keyboard Demonstration

Published by under Design and tagged: , , ,

Short video demonstration showing how to use the on-screen keyboard to input on websites.

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Jun 24 2014

Effective Color Contrast

Published by under Color,CSS,Design and tagged: , ,

SSB Bart video explaining the importance of effective color contrast for users with visual disabilities.

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Jun 24 2014

Web Headings for Screen Readers

Published by under CSS,Design,Uncategorized and tagged: , ,

Video demonstrating the importance of HEADINGS for screen readers.

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