Dear Teach Access members, supporters, and champions,
We are happy to share our activities and accomplishments since our last update. Take a look at all Teach Access is doing to enhance accessibility awareness and to ensure the fundamentals of digital accessibility are included in college and university technology curricula.
As always, please feel free to share this update with any friends or colleagues at other institutions, companies, or organizations who you think may be interested in learning more about Teach Access or becoming a member.
Be on the lookout for the next round of Faculty Grants!
Last July, Teach Access selected 10 faculty to receive our 2020-2021 Teach Access Curriculum Development Awards of $5,000 each. These grantees spent their summer developing modules, presentations, exercises and curriculum enhancements that introduce the fundamental concepts and skills of accessible design and development in existing, classroom-based courses. We have been pleased with the results we have already seen from those grantees who taught their courses last fall. Of the over 300 students who took a class taught by a Fall 2020 faculty grantee, the data shows a 16.7% increase in students’ self-reported confidence in their knowledge of accessibility topics.
We are excited to announce that we’ll be offering another round of Teach Access Faculty Grants this year! The application form will be available on our website later this spring.
Verizon Sponsoring Teach Access Strategic Planning Effort
Teach Access is proud to announce that we are currently going through a strategic planning process facilitated by Third Plateau (a social impact strategy firm) and funded by a grant from Verizon. We’re working to complete the significant strategic planning process with Third Plateau in March and will then move forward with the Teach Access Executive Committee to implement the plan. We’re putting together ambitious goals including providing 1 million students with accessible technology skills by 2030.
Accessibility Hiring Toolkit Updates
Last April we developed and debuted our open-source Accessibility Skills Hiring Toolkit which is intended to help organizations build internal capacity for producing accessible digital products by developing a knowledgeable and skilled workforce. In addition to the Sample Position Description Language, the toolkit now offers screening and interview questions you can use to assess whether candidates meet the accessibility-related qualifications of a given position. Job candidates who know about accessibility are extremely valuable to an organization, so if you’re hiring for any of the positions listed in the toolkit, make sure to incorporate this language into your position description!
Now Available: Open-Source Course Materials for Teaching Accessibility
We are proud to announce that nearly 120 course materials created by our 19 faculty grantees from 2018-2019 are now available for public use through our partnership with Howard Kramer at UC Boulder’s Promoting the Integration of Universal Design into University Curriculum (UDUC). This database is a living resource that will continue to grow and evolve as more of our grantees share their curricular materials. Thank you for all your hard work on this, Howard! We will be conducting usability testing of the database, but please feel free to send any feedback to email@example.com.
Study Away 2021: Virtual Edition
In 2018 and 2019, our Study Away program was a week-long in-person event in Silicon Valley that brought together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and industry professionals. This year we will be conducting a virtual Study Away pilot program. Despite the change in format, the goal of the program remains: to create an experience where students will learn accessibility fundamentals, get hands-on experience, as well as have quality networking opportunities with industry members and other students.
The targeted start date of our Virtual Study Away Program is March 22, 2021. There will be four-weeks of curriculum delivered synchronously and asynchronously. Throughout the program, there will be several opportunities for team-based activity challenges and the program will culminate in an optional hackathon with a winning team to be recognized on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) (May 20, 2021). Any interested undergraduate or graduate student from a Teach Access Member University is welcome to participate. And any Teach Access member company is welcome to host a session during the event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Teach Access at CSUN 2021
Check out Teach Access’s CSUN presentation this March! We will be sharing our 2021 update, which will feature updated objectives, info about task forces, and much more!
Teach Access also was featured at Sight Tech Global in December and CES in January. You can view videos of our appearances at both conferences on our new Videos page!
Teach Access Member Spotlight: Apple
Teach Access representative from Apple, Janette Barrios, shared with us that Apple has recently launched an updated accessibility web site, to help customers discover and learn more about how to use Apple’s built-in accessibility features. She says they also have great new how-to videos on their Apple YouTube Accessibility playlist where you can learn to use features such as the new Back Tap on iPhone, Magnifier, Taptic Time on Apple Watch, or taking selfies using Voice Control which was also done in conjunction with United Spinal Association members.
Give Gallaudet Your Feedback on a Masters Program
Want to change the world of accessibility?
Gallaudet University seeks your input for a feasibility survey on a Masters Program in Accessible Human-Centered Computing (MS in AHCC).
Your participation will help them launch this program that is designed for individuals seeking training in designing, evaluating, and implementing effective, evidence-based accessible design and evaluation strategies and messages to address the accessibility needs of diverse audiences. Graduates of the program will be prepared for a variety of positions, including those in accessibility or information technology in industry, federal agencies, and non-profit organizations.
New Teach Access Members
Welcome to the members who have joined us over the last several months! A complete list of Teach Access members can be found on our website.
And, if you’ve been considering joining the Teach Access effort, now is a great time! Or if you have friends and colleagues at other institutions, companies, organizations, please encourage them to check out our Membership page to learn more about becoming a member.