Monday, January 28, 2013

Survey and Planning

AccessibleWeb@U Meeting Notes Jan 24, 2013

  • Survey results
    • 22 people responded, most were webmasters or people maintaining content
    • Ranking by sum of "Strong interest" and "Very strong interest"
      1. 75% - Creating accessible websites: Instructions, tips, and resources
      2. 64% - Accessible UW templates and themes for WordPress and Drupal
      3. 59% - Accessible plug-ins and modules for WordPress and Drupal
      4. 53% - Authoring accessible documents in Word, PDF, and other formats: Instructions, tips, and resources
      5. 50% - Disability-related resources and services available at the UW
      6. 45% - Getting help with accessible technology problems and issues
      7. 41% - Captioning video: Instruction, tips, and resources
      8. 41% - Legal requirements and policies related to technology accessibility at the UW
      9. 28% - Opportunities for getting involved with efforts to improved accessibility of technology at the UW
      10. 27% - Procuring accessible technology products
    • In comments, respondents suggested more task oriented content, better structure, shorter and clearer text
    • Summary of what the results seem to mean
      • Basics of how to create accessible websites is most important
      • Strong interest in prebuilt environments (CMSs and plug-ins) that have accessibility built-in
      • Moderate interest in authoring accessible documents
      • Site needs to more engaging, better organized, and task oriented
  • Reviewing the website (
    • About the site as a whole
      • Could there be a site search for just this site?
        • An alternative could be a site map
        • If site is in its own WordPress instance, it would have a site-specific search
      • Could there be an accessibility news blog?
        • Important to prepare items carefully and get review
          • Consistent quality and relevance is important for giving visitors a reason to come back
          • Should be a steady flow of items, at least a couple a week
        • Items should be written with consistent role, voice, and style
        • If we can find a news source we respect, we could simply put its news feed on the site
          • WebAIM ( might be a source
        • We could also link to forums where good discussions are occuring
        • A blog could be used to foster discussions on topics
      • How could we offer training on accessible design?
        • WebAIM offers training in Utah ( They sometimes travel. Could we find money for a workshop here at the UW?
        • UW-IT Learning and Scholarly Technologies (LST) offers workshops ( Could LST host an accessible design workshop?
        • Could we develop training videos, perhaps using Tegrity?
          • Developing a polished training video can be time consuming.
      • Could the site have demonstrations of accessible and inaccessible designs?
        • Demonstrating lack of accessibility might best be done with videos of people trying to use the site
      • Could the site have explanations and videos of converting an inaccessible site to become accessible?
    • Current topics
      • Historical Highlights
        • Should be moved to the bottom; interesting but not what people come for most of the time
      • Policies & Standards
        • We have many good quotes from the UW President in the "IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say" video (, which is linked to from the home page
        • Using those quotes, we could convey that the UW has chosen a shared intention of being accessible; would help to localize; we are not just doing this because external entities have ordered us to.
      • Web Accessibility
        • Move the "why be accessible" stuff down on the page
        • Put the "getting started" or "is my site accessible" stuff at the top
        • Checklists for evaluation of accessibility and step-by-step procedures would be helpful
  • Discussion
    • We should build a list of possible things we could do and then sort them out by priority and timing
    • One key role for the site might be to help people connect with mentors who could be there as they learn accessible design
      • Who would be the mentors?
    • Simply building up a network of practitioners, facilitating their cooperation and sharing would be valuable
    • The survey showed strong interest in pre-built solutions such as accessible themes and plugins
      • How do we know which themes and plugins to point people to?
    • Is it time to host another Capacity Building Institute?
      • We hosted a CBI in 2008 (
      • Defining the problem well is an essential step
      • In a CBI, speakers give short presentations and then work with the audience to develop solutions
      • Everyone is involved in the discussion through the day
      • Everyone is assumed to be part of the problem and and important member of the community that will develop solutions
    • Connecting with the Web developers is challenging
      • Often working on tight deadlines
      • Generally work from their own toolset of skills, favorite code libraries, javascript libraries, code management methods, and project management methods, all of which may or may not have been developed to support accessible design

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