A11y Allies: Building a Culture of Integrated Accessibility On Your Campus
Concurrent Session 6
This scaffolded brainstorm invites participants to examine the accessibility culture on their own campus to identify individuals that may be crucial in creating a community that can support accessibility endeavors. This will be followed by activities designed to help participants develop strategies for creating an accessibility community at their own institution.
As the pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State University (MSU) has historically been driven by the principles of quality, inclusiveness, and connectivity (https://msu.edu/morrill-celebration/history.html). Having a robust community allows for sustainable growth and resilience for meeting the various challenges that come with a diverse set of learners. To that end, digital accessibility initiatives at MSU have always centered on faculty, staff, and students coming together to address accessibility needs through a variety of programs and communities. These have taken the forms of dedicated accessibility staff, Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), a Central IT-supported Web Accessibility Policy Liaisons group, student interns helping with review and remediation work, casual campus-wide brown bag series, College 5-year Accessibility plans, and the Accessible Learning Conference.
Join us in a scaffolded brainstorm conversation about what this process has looked like at MSU over the years - what has worked, what has not, and what could be. Following a short introduction, we will work through two activities to brainstorm ways of building an accessibility community: 1) how to identify the campus entities needed to be effective and, 2) how to engage those entities to foster the desired environment. Questions that will help to guide this discussion include:
Does your campus environment support a top-down, bottom-up, or combination approach to engaging people in accessibility work?
What has worked well and where have you experienced roadblocks in creating a community around accessibility?
How can you invite students into the conversation on your campus?
What are realistic steps you can take now, by the end of the school year, and into the future, to advance accessibility on your campus?
Session attendees can expect to come away with:
Broader view of how to foster a sense of community around accessibility
Solid next steps for how they might further accessibility initiatives on their own campuses
An expanded network of colleagues interested in collaborating on accessibility