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What is ATI and How Does It Help Students, Staff, and Faculty

by Melissa Repa, ATI Project Coordinator & SSWD Co-Director

Despite recent advances in technology, many individuals with disabilities still cannot utilize some information technologies, because the technologies are not designed with accessibility in mind. The Accessible Technology Initiative (“ATI”) at Sacramento State aims to make all information technology resources and services more accessible and properly equipped for everyone on the campus.

The “ATI” is part of a system-wide effort to create a more inclusive learning and working environment for all staff, students, and faculty, regardless of disability. The initiative emphasizes three priorities: web accessibility, instructional materials accessibility, and procurement of accessible electronic and information technology. The campus has provided funding for three ATI support positions, including Cryssel Vera, Instructional Materials Specialist and David Katten, Web Accessibility Specialist. An ATI Procurement/Training Specialist is expected to be appointed in the fall to focus on accessible electronic and information technology procurement.

The Instructional Materials Specialist provides faculty one-on-one and group consultation to help develop and maintain accessible instructional materials. The Specialist can assist faculty in the conversion of inaccessible course materials into electronically accessible formats. Any courses in which a student with a disability is enrolled must be accessible.

ATI Meeting Discussion

Sacramento State students and staff talk about the importance of accessibility in their education at the Teaching using Technology Institute on Accessibility and Universal Design on May 27, 2008. Left to right: Melissa Repa, Eugene Lozano Jr., Jake White, Irene Lopez, Michaeldavid Davis, Katie Howard, Lenore Presley, Denise Guerrero.
Photo by Sam Parsons

The Web Accessibility Specialist provides the campus with leadership and technical expertise to ensure that web content is accessible to community members with disabilities. This Specialist will consult with University departments in designing and developing accessible websites, pages and applications, as well as with enhancements and modifications to existing campus websites. By May 2009, all administrative sites that are critical to institutional access must conform to baseline accessibility standards, or if that is not possible, have a plan to provide an equally effective alternate form of access. 

The ATI Procurement/Training Specialist will provide assistance to individuals in researching, development,

evaluation and implementation of required guidelines for accessible electronic and information technology (E&IT) procurement. This position will also act as a training resource for the campus community on accessible E&IT procurement and in promoting the campus-wide adoption of accessible processes and compliance with the federal Section 508 accessibility requirements.

Accessible technology support is a highly collaborative effort, bringing together different divisions, departments, faculty, students, staff, and administration in unprecedented ways to meet the ambitious goals of the ATI (for complete timelines and additional information see By taking the initiative we are ensuring that all students have access to the education they need in order to succeed in their lives. We also contribute to a community and culture where the access and equality we all value is the norm.

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