2017 UMass Accessibility Retreat Sessions

Session Recordings and Presentations

All sessions from the 2017 UMass Accessibility Retreat are listed alphabetically.  Select a session name to access session recordings and presentations.  Both closed captions and transcripts are available for each session.

Session Title Description
Accessibility and Open Educational Resources

As more and more postsecondary institutions incorporate OERs into courses and programs, identifying and following some key guiding principles can help assure—to the greatest extent possible—that a degree of due diligence regarding accessibility is routinely addressed.  However, if all learners are to benefit from OERs and if they are to be used as sources of learning, then we need to go beyond accessibility and use the principles and practices of Universal Design for Learning in the creation, selection, remixing, repurposing and reuse of OERs.  This presentation will focus on applying accessibility and Universal Design for Learning to OERs and will use some examples from the postsecondary arena.

Accessibility Best Practices for Word and Excel

Learn how to make your word and excel documents accessible prior to converting them to Adobe PDFs. Bring a laptop and a sample document to follow along if desired.

Accessibility in Online Courses

The flexibility of asynchronous online courses makes them perfectly situated to attract students with disabilities or unique learning preferences. The UMass Amherst and Boston campuses have multiple initiatives to increase the accessibility of online course offerings. In this session we will discuss: using student workers to caption video tutorials; rubrics and processes for review of courses for accessibility; and instructor training initiatives to increase document accessibility.

Creating STEM Based Accessible Educational Materials using 3D Printing

In a world full of inaccessible images, the challenge is real for individuals who learn differently. In Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math courses (STEM), the challenge can be overwhelming! For individuals who experience blindness or low-vision, STEM-based coursework can be daunting and difficult to complete independently when data visualization or imagery (such as the visual depiction of molecular structures) is heavily embedded.

UMass Amherst’s Assistive Technology Center in conjunction with the Digital Media Lab is engaging with a Molecular Biology professor in creating 3D-printed tactile-based kits to support a wide-array of learners (blind/low vision, ADD/ADHD, Learning Disabilities) to address questions/concerns of inclusion and accessibility in STEM-based classes on campus. Join us to find out more about this project and have an open discussion about STEM accessibility!

Laws around Accessibility: Your Legal Questions Answered

Once registered for this event, you will be asked to submit your accessibility law questions ahead of time so that Dawna and Karen can prepare their presentation around attendee interests.

Procuring Accessible Technology at the University of Washington

Sheryl Burgstahler from the University of Washington joins us remotely to talk about the current process in place within UWashington IT for procuring accessible technology as well as their lessons learned so far.

Screen Reader Advanced Testing and Website Support

Are you a developer interested in exploring advanced screen reader testing and website support?  Join Tracy Axelson of the President's Office and a resource from Freedom Scientific as they provide examples of common code violations and how to resolve the violations. 

Screen Reader Testing & Website Support for Beginners

Come learn the basics of accessibility testing.  Bring your laptop and your headphones, but leave your mouse behind.  We'll review screen reader basics (browser requirements, keyboard commands) as well as how to read through automated testing results.  Our speakers will provide an overview and best practices for the first 15 minutes.  Then you can download a screen reader, an open source automation tool, and test a site of your choice. 

Screen Reader Testing Playground

Join Bill Leahy and Josh Pearson for a general session on Screen Reader usage and testing.  Don't forget your laptop.  If you don't already have a screen reader or testing tool, Bill and Josh will provide some open source options.

Tactile Graphics and Maps

This presentation will cover basic principles of designing tactile graphics for students with visual disabilities. Examples from real courses will be shown and different design and production strategies will be discussed.

Web Development: Joining Accessibility and User Experience for Accessible UX

Digital accessibility efforts are typically reactive—responding to an accessibility complaint, auditing a resource for compliance with technical standards, performing accessibility tests as part of quality assurance, accommodating people who encounter accessibility issues. These after-the-fact efforts typically result in a compromised experience for people with disabilities. To change this paradigm, we must move accessibility forward, from technical compliance to quality user experience. 

User experience is concerned with people. Accessibility is concerned with people who have disabilities. Joining the two into accessible UX establishes digital inclusion as a core value, with shared responsibility for accessibility as a requirement. In this session we will present principles and guidelines for accessible UX to guide accessibility activities for the many roles that have a hand in providing digital resources.

Welcome from Tracy Mitrano

Tracy Mitrano from UMass Amherst welcomes everyone to the 2017 UMass Accessibility Retreat.