Category: UA11y News

10 Ways to Make The University of Alabama More Accessible: A Video Collaboration

In Fall 2018, Honors College freshmen from Rick Dowling’s UH 155: Public Service Post-Production course created a video called “10 Ways to Make The University of Alabama More Accessible.” After receiving guidance from the Technology Accessibility team, the class was presented with the challenge of creating a video based on a script we provided. The class’s groups created a total of five versions of the video, and we are happy to share our favorite here.

Heading to the Faculty Technology Showcase? Rick will discuss the video collaboration during the 11:00 a.m. hour. We hope to see you there!

Happy New Year from the Technology Accessibility Team

Happy New Year! We’re excited to share some news with you as we start a new year and a new semester.

Faculty Resource Center Spring 2019 Workshop Registration is now open! This semester, the Technology Accessibility team will offer workshops and webinars on web accessibility; best practices for creating accessible documents, presentations, spreadsheets, emails, and social media content; and Universal Design for Learning, a set of curriculum development principles that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. New this semester are Accessibility Testing with NVDA (2/27) and Accessibility Testing with VoiceOver (3/21), workshops in which participants will learn how to use free screen reader programs to test the accessibility of digital content.

We are especially looking forward to our Texthelp expert trainer visit on Wednesday, February 13. Texthelper Kimberly Nix will provide comprehensive introductions to Read&Write for Google Chrome and Read&Write for Windows, literacy support solutions with tools for reading, writing, research, and studying. Read&Write is freely available to all UA students, faculty, and staff on campus and personal machines, as are two additional Texthelp tools: EquatIO, an application you can use to type, handwrite, or speak to create equations, formulas, and other math and chemistry expressions; and Snapverter, an easy to use add-on for Read&Write for Google Chrome and iOS app that transforms papers and files into readable PDF documents. Register online for these and other technology accessibility workshops and other workshops offered by the Faculty Resource Center.

A couple of additional learning opportunities in which you may be interested:

  • Microsoft is offering a new series of free Accessibility Learning Webinars, the goal of which is to share the latest technology and accessibility features across Microsoft products and help answer common accessibility questions. Upcoming webinars include Narrator 101 (1/16), Magnifier and Low Vision Features in Windows 10 (2/20), and Navigating the New Office Ribbon (3/20).
  • Also from Microsoft, the newly-created Empower every student with an inclusive classroom course enables educators of all subject areas to learn about Microsoft Learning Tools and practice creating accessible learning environments Windows 10 and Office 365. The course is free and is part of Microsoft’s Inclusive Classroom Learning Path.

Keep up with us throughout the semester by following our UA11y News blog, the Technology Accessibility Facebook page, and the UATechAccess Twitter account.

As always, thanks for your efforts in making UA a more inclusive and accessible campus! Best wishes for a great semester, and please contact us if we can help with your technology accessibility needs.

Spring 2019 Technology Accessibility Workshops

Emerging Technology and Accessibility invites you to enhance your technology accessibility skills by participating in these workshops during the Spring 2019 term:

  • Accessibility Testing with NVDA
    Learn how to use the free NVDA screen reader to test the accessibility of digital content.
    Wednesday, Feb. 27, 11:00 a.m.
  • Accessibility Testing with VoiceOver
    Learn how to use the VoiceOver macOS and iOS screen reader program to test the accessibility of digital content.
    Thursday, Mar. 21, 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Content with Microsoft Office
    Learn how to create Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and Outlook emails accessible to users with disabilities.
    Wednesday, Jan. 16, 11:00 a.m.
  • Creating Accessible Content with Microsoft Office (webinar)
    Learn how to create Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and Outlook emails accessible to users with disabilities.
    Thursday, Apr. 4, 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
    Learn to create PDFs accessible to people with disabilities using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC .
    Thursday, Jan. 17, 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (webinar)
    Learn to create PDFs accessible to people with disabilities using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC .
    Thursday, Apr. 11, 2:00 p.m.
  • Creating Accessible Social Media Content
    Learn how to create social media content accessible to users with disabilities.
    Wednesday, Mar. 6, 11:00 a.m.
  • Creating Accessible Social Media Content (webinar)
    Learn how to create social media content accessible to users with disabilities.
    Thursday, Apr. 25, 2:00 p.m.
  • Introduction to Read&Write 
    A comprehensive introduction to Read&Write, a literacy support solution with tools for reading, writing, research and studying.

    • Introduction to Read&Write for Google Chrome, Wednesday, February 13, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
    • Introduction to Read&Write for Google Chrome, Wednesday, February 13, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
    • Introduction to Read&Write for Windows, Wednesday, February 13, 2:15-4:15 p.m.
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility
    Learn about the University’s web accessibility guidelines, common accessibility challenges and solutions, and strategies for creating accessible digital content.
    Wednesday, Jan. 30, 11:00 a.m.
  • Introduction to Web Accessibility (webinar)
    Learn about the University’s web accessibility guidelines, common accessibility challenges and solutions, and strategies for creating accessible digital content.
    Thursday, Apr. 18, 2:00 p.m.
  • Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility
    Learn how to create inclusive, accessible learning opportunities by utilizing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a set of curriculum development principles that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
    Wednesday, Feb. 6, 11:00 a.m.
  • Universal Design for Learning and Accessibility (webinar)
    Learn how to create inclusive, accessible learning opportunities by utilizing Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a set of curriculum development principles that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
    Wednesday, Mar. 27, 11:00 a.m.
  • WCAG in a Nutshell
    Learn about Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements and techniques and resources you can use to meet these guidelines.
    Monday, Jan. 28, 11:00 a.m.

All classroom workshops are held in A232 Gordon Palmer. Registration is requested but not required.

We are also happy to offer private training sessions on these and other accessibility-related topics to members of the University community. Please contact us if we can help with your technology accessibility needs.

Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference BYOD prep

We can’t wait to see you at next week’s Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference! Sessions from all five days of the conference will be streamed live in A232 and A203 Gordon Palmer Hall, Monday, November 12–Friday, November 16.

If you are planning to bring your own device, be sure to check out the instructions for preparing your computer for pre-conference workshops and main conference labs.

See you next week!

Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference—you’re invited!

The Faculty Resource Center’s Emerging Technology and Accessibility team is happy to host the Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference, and you’re invited! Sessions from all five days of the conference will be streamed live in A232 and A203 Gordon Palmer Hall, Monday, November 12–Friday, November 16. Drop by for a session or stay for the entire event, and feel free to bring your lunch (and your friends!). Registration is not required.

Accessing Higher Ground focuses on the implementation and benefits of:

  • Accessible media, Universal Design and Assistive Technology in the university, business and public setting;
  • Legal and policy issues, including ADA and 508 compliance;
  • The creation of accessible media and information resources, including Web pages and library resources.

There is a strong focus on campus accommodation, universal design, and curriculum accessibility as well as best practices for web design, reaching untapped audiences through accessible design, and compliance with existing and anticipated Section 508 and ADA stipulations.

A complete agenda is available on the conference website. As the schedule is subject to change, please check for updates before making the trip to Gordon Palmer. Times on the conference site are in Mountain Time; Central Time is one hour ahead.

Oct. 17 Introduction to Read&Write sessions cancelled

The Introduction to Read&Write for Google Chrome and Introduction to Read&Write for Windows sessions scheduled for Wednesday, October 17 have been cancelled due to presenter travel issues.

The sessions will be rescheduled. In the meantime, contact accessibility@ua.edu if you wish to learn more about Read&Write and/or the other Texthelp tools, EquatIO and Snapverter. We are also happy to offer individual or small group training on these tools upon request.

Texthelp expert-led EquatIO and Read&Write training for UA users—you’re invited!

The Faculty Resource Center’s Emerging Technology and Accessibility team invites you to participate in upcoming opportunities to learn more about Texthelp tools for reading, writing, language learning and STEM subjects. These tools are free to all UA students, faculty, and staff. They are particularly beneficial for English language learners, students with learning disabilities, and students who can benefit from writing supports, but are useful to all. Please consider joining us for these events and sharing this post with others who may wish to attend.

Mid- 2018 Accessibility Initiative Update

The Emerging Technology and Accessibility team, now part of UA’s Faculty Resource Center (FRC), housed in the Office of Information Technology (OIT), continues to lead the initiative to provide our technology users, including those with disabilities, a functional and accessible technology experience with our web presence and our instructional and emerging technologies. An annual audit of campus college and division web sites reflects that many campus areas continue to improve in their accessibility status.

2017-2018 efforts include:

  • Working with campus stakeholders to develop a Web Resources Accessibility Policy that would adopt WCAG 2.0 AA to address the accessibility of public-facing web resources, campus-wide web resources, and web resources needed to conduct core University administrative and academic functions, including third-party tools and equal access and non-compliance plans.
  • Establishing technology accessibility liaisons for each college, school, and division. Appointed by campus deans and vice presidents, these liaisons serve as the area contact to address technology needs related to accessibility.
  • Compiling and distributing to liaisons the most complete and accurate list of UA web sites to date.
  • Acquiring and rolling out campus wide the Texthelp suite of literacy support tools. Texthelp tools freely available to all UA students, faculty and staff on campus and personal machines include Read&Write, a literacy support solution with tools for reading, writing, research and studying; EquatIO, an application you can use to type, handwrite or speak to create equations, formulas, and other math and chemistry expressions; and Snapverter, an easy to use add-on for Read&Write for Google Chrome and iOS app that transforms papers and files into readable PDF documents.
  • Assuming management of campus licensing for ZoomText, a screen magnification and reading program that enables users with low vision to see, hear, and use everything on the computer screen
  • Captioning and/or transcribing over 4000 minutes of media through UA captioning grants. Captioning grants may be used to caption and/or transcribe UA-owned video and audio that will be shared on public or campus-wide websites.
  • Offering new workshops covering accessibility best practices for various media as well as diversity in learners and learning style and how accessibility barriers affect users with diversity of ability.
  • Adding staff member Melissa Green. Melissa is a Technology Accessibility Specialist dedicated to technology accessibility training needs.
  • Resolving 255 tickets in the Helpspot customer service/support ticket system.
  • Running 3246 Accessibility Management Platform reports. Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) is a comprehensive accessibility and reporting tool freely available to members of the UA community.