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Re: How to create a web accessibility and ADA compliance department for a Higher Ed institution?


From: Michael.Moore@dars.state.tx.us
Date: Apr 15, 2011 9:06AM


I am part of a department that sounds very similar to what you would like to set up. The DARS EIR (Electronic Information Resources) Accessibility team consists of an Accessibility Coordinator and four Accessibility Specialists. We report to a manager in a department that is independent of Information Resources (IR) and Communications who are responsible for technical infrastructure and web content. Our role is to provide training, technical assistance, testing, and some remediation for Electronic Information Resources that are developed or procured for all Texas HHS agencies. We work with the IR departments, procurement, communications, and the four other HHS Agency Accessibility coordinators.

The team members have expertise in web design and development, most of us have been web and/or application developers at some point, and have expertise in accessibility for all types of web content and electronic documents and forms. We support developers who are working with dotNet, Flex, webSphere, SharePoint, and using a variety of code libraries including JQuery and Dojo. Everyone on the team is a proficient JAWS user and most of us are also competent users of other screen readers, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and ZoomText. We were involved in the development of the HHS Accessibility Policy and are required to be section 508 and 255 experts. Electronic document support primarily involves MS Office and PDF documents we also support accessibility for content created through things like Lectora, Captivate, Flash etc or whatever else someone may find to create content. In addition to the software and content support we perform compliance testing and VPAT and accessibility docum
entation reviews to support hardware procurement as well. This has included all types of office hardware from phone systems to fax machines and document centers, and PCs.

Because we never know how the content is generated we look for folks that have strong technical skills and a demonstrated ability to learn new platforms on their own. All of us required additional intensive JAWS training after we were hired. Most of our educational backgrounds are in information technology or computer science. (Bachelors and Masters degrees). Some of us had experience as professional educators, and I was an equipment engineer in a prior life. If you contact me off list I can send you job descriptions for the accessibility specialist and accessibility coordinator positions.

Mike Moore

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Giovanni Duarte
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2011 7:46 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: [WebAIM] How to create a web accessibility and ADA compliance department for a Higher Ed institution?


My institution is trying to create an "office or department" that will deal
with web accessibility and ADA compliance. We already have an office that
deals with ADA students but this new department will need to ensure that:
Technologies across our institutions are accessible, audit and resolve
issues on web sites and technologies owned by the institution, and provide a
comprehensive support for any web accessibility needs and challenges
presented to the institution.
What I am trying to figure out is what type of skills, education, and
experience should we look for? Do you have any examples of what this type of
office looks like? What about the job titles? How many people should be part
of such department? What should we consider to make sure the implementation
is successful?