Express Help for Faculty to Create Accessible Instructional Materials
By Cryssel Vera, Instructional Materials Specialist and Raymond Pina, Manager & Training Coordinator, Academic Technology & Creative Services
Starting in mid Summer 2008 and continuing throughout the Fall 2008 semester, the Academic Technology and Creative Services (ATCS) department in coordination with the Information Resources & Technology (IRT) department at Sacramento State offered faculty the first Express Help sessions on creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word, accessible presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint and accessible PDF documents in Adobe Acrobat. These two hour sessions took place in the Faculty/Staff Resource Center located in the Academic Information and Resources Center Room 3012, where the ATI Instructional Materials Accessibility Specialist provided faculty with an informational overview about the Accessible Technology Initiative and ATCS consultants presented Instructional Material Accessibility Tips for creating accessible syllabi in Word, accessible presentations in PowerPoint, and accessible Adobe PDF documents. The focus of these sessions was to provide faculty hands-on time to create accessible course materials and to retrofit current inaccessible course syllabi, PowerPoint presentations, and Adobe PDF documents that faculty brought with them into the sessions. This hands-on time was valuable to faculty who received individual help from ATCS Consultants and from the Instructional Materials Accessibility Specialist.
The Express Help sessions were successful in providing faculty with individualized one-on-one consultation time to work on their course materials and make these accessible. Faculty turnout was successful too in that several faculty attended all three sessions. ATCS and IRT plan to continue providing these Express Help sessions in the Spring 2009 and the semesters that follow in order to assist more faculty and this way contribute to meet the Accessible Technology Initiative’s instructional materials priority timeline areas (see http://www.csus.edu/accessibility ). As with all workshops, the Express Help Accessibility workshops are evaluated each semester for their effectiveness and active enrollment, so we encourage everyone to register. Starting fall 2008 accessibility was to be incorporated into all new courses, including instructional materials and instructional websites, at the point of course redesign and when a student with a disability enrolls in the course. Existing course materials such as inaccessible handouts, etc. should aim to be retrofitted and made accessible by Fall 2012.
In addition to the Express Help Sessions, ATCS offers training workshops on how to create accessible Word Documents, PowerPoint presentations, Adobe PDF documents and Web Pages. To register for upcoming Accessibility Training and other Technology Training, please visit the Technology Training for Faculty and Staff webpage (http://www.csus.edu/training/).
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