Making Web Accessibility Work for Your Institution Is Everyone's Business

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2012 Online Seminar
May 31, 2012 • 1:00–4:00 p.m. ET (UTC-4) convert to your time zone Runs three hours.
Making sure that all students, faculties, and staffs have access to web content is critical in education today.  When those individuals have disabilities, access may well depend on what it is that you do as an individual, a supervisor, or as an administrator.  This seminar will explore different levels of web accessibility practices necessary at an institution.  At a faculty and staff level we will cover what you can do to create and evaluate the accessibility of web content.  This includes typical files uploaded into learning management systems (e.g., Word, PDF, and PowerPoint) as well as HTML content created locally or procured for your institution’s use. At an administrative level we will discuss the importance of enterprise-wide web accessibility and tools freely available to aide an institution in a self-study of web accessibility with an eye toward the continuous improvement that is a focus of regional accreditation entities.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the four central principles of web accessibility,
  • Understand and execute those practices that are involved in creating accessible documents and presentations,
  • Use a web accessibility evaluation tool to assess web content, and
  • Access and use an institutional self-study tool for web accessibility.

ELI Seminar Special Guests

Cyndi Rowland

Cyndi Rowland
Director - WebAIM, Utah State University

Dr. Cyndi Rowland is the Associate Director at the Center for Persons Disabilities (CPD) housed at Utah State University. The CPD is part of the national network of University Centers of Excellence in Disability Research, Service, and Education. The focus of Cyndi’s work and expertise is accessible information communication technology (ICT). She directs WebAIM, as well as the National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE), both viewed as important resources in digital accessibility. As part of her project work she is currently directing a FIPSE-funded project with a focus on assisting postsecondary institutions as they make a decision to commit to web accessibility enterprise-wide. This is the GOALS project and the acronym stands for Gaining Online Accessible Learning through Self-Study.

Jonathan Whiting

Jonathan Whiting
Director of Training and Evaluation, WebAIM, Utah State University

Jonathan Whiting, M.S., is the Director of Training and Evaluation at WebAIM, a highly respected non-profit web accessibility organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. Jonathan is also currently involved in Project GOALS as lead staff to develop a blueprint for institutional adoption of web accessibility (see As an instructional designer, Jonathan has published dozens of articles, tutorials, and other instructional resources. He has also traveled extensively to train hundreds of higher education web developers, content creators, and other professionals who develop or maintain web content. In addition to training, Jonathan has also provided web accessibility evaluations and reports for several higher education institutions.

Jared Smith

Jared Smith
Associate Director, WebAIM, Utah State University

Jared Smith is the Associate Director of WebAIM. He is a highly demanded presenter and trainer and has provided web accessibility training to thousands of developers throughout the world. With a degree in Marketing/Business Education, a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology, and over 13 years experience working in the web design, development, and accessibility field, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that is used to help others create and maintain highly accessible web content. Much of his written work, including a broad range of tutorials, articles, and other materials, is featured on the WebAIM site. Jared is active on twitter at @jared_w_smith.

Additional Resources

Team Participation

We encourage you to participate as a team. Team participation can help your institution advance a current or upcoming project and promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration. Our EDUCAUSE On Campus event planning kit provides helpful information for hosting or facilitating an event on your campus, including an event-planning checklist, a discussion-facilitation guide, and more.