UW President Michael Young kicks off a 15-minute video of university leaders and CIOs speaking on the importance of accessible technology and products. The idea for "IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say" came out of a technology accessibility discussion at EDUCAUSE last year. It debuted at this year's conference, and now is available for everyone on YouTube. It was produced by the DO-IT Center and UW's Computer Science and Engineering, with funds from the National Science Foundation.
The University Marketing Web Team has released an updated UW WordPress theme that now incorporates full accessibility and responsive (mobile friendly) design. Sites hosted by Marketing have already been updated; UW Webmasters who run their own WordPress installs are encouraged to download the latest version. Marketing is also working with the UW community to create a UW theme for Drupal 7. Lastly, all UW Webmasters are invited to test the new responsive UW Alert Banner on their sites before it goes live November 23.
DO-IT is celebrating its 20th year of increasing the success of individuals with disabilities in college and careers, using technology as an empowering tool. The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center, a national program centered at the UW, has involved over 300 high school students with disabilities in its Summer Study sessions, and offers outreach and support to postsecondary faculty and technology staff, including help with Web page accessibility. DO-IT is funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, the State of Washington, Microsoft, Boeing, and other sources. Read more in UW Today.
An online directory of 161 free, open source, assistive technology (AT) applications is available thanks to the University of Athens Speech and Accessibility Laboratory, which tested each one. AT provides methods of using technology to accomplish tasks formerly out of reach for some people. You can browse the software by disability (blindness, dyslexia, hearing, low vision, motor/dexterity, speech) or category. Each entry includes a screenshot, system requirements, download links, and more information and hints, as described in a recent About.com article.
The 2012 Accessible Technology Webinar Series seeks to increase awareness of the importance of providing equal access to information tools used in the workplace and social media. The next Webinar is "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act" on June 12; register online by June 11. You also can see upcoming Webinars—on accessibility of Web authoring, mobile, and more—and access the archived sessions. This free series is coordinated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) National Network.
Students in the UW’s DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) program are featured in a series of 12 UWTV videos. They speak about the adapted environments and technologies that help them have equal access to learning and employment opportunities. Some of these individuals are in the DO-IT Scholars program, where high school students attend Summer Study sessions at the UW to prepare for college and careers.
Emergency phones in the UW Seattle Outdoor Alert Towers are now more accessible for people in wheelchairs or with mobility challenges. The towers enable notification of the UW Seattle community during emergencies through a public broadcast system, and house a direct line to UW Police. Some towers were rotated or had their base area repaved to be more accessible, and one was relocated. UW-IT and Facilities Services partnered on the improvements.
A panel discussion on accessible technology, with UW computer science professor Richard Ladner, kicks off Disability Awareness Week at UW Seattle. Hear about creativity in designing new technology, recent developments and applications, and how people relate to and are impacted by the technologies they use. Panelist Mark Harniss, UW Center for Technology and Disability research scientist, also will discuss accessible technology in the developing world. Save the date: May 23, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Mary Gates Hall Room 288.
The newly redesigned UWTV Web site makes it easy to see the upcoming TV schedule, search for and watch video from UWTV’s extensive video library, and catch up on Husky sports. You’ll also find two new additions to the Computer Science and Engineering Colloquia series – Heads in the Cloud: New Approaches for Access Technology and Smart Grids and Beyond.
The Accessibility Capstone Premiere presents posters and demonstrations of six design projects from CSE 481H. These accessibility-oriented applications for the Google Android feature exciting new ideas such as The Phone Wand, which uses vibration and orientation feedback for navigation, and Street Sign Reader, for people with limited vision. Presentations are March 14, 10:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., in the Microsoft Atrium of the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering at UW Seattle.
Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the 20 years since it was passed, and the law’s impact on higher education, will be the focus of a talk presented by the ASUW Student Disability Commission. Don Brandon, project director of the Disability Business Technical Assistance Center Northwest, will speak November 30, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., in Parrington Hall Commons, Room 308.
Accessible University 2.0 is a fictional university home page that demonstrates common Web accessibility problems and solutions. It’s an easy-to-understand before and after approach, provided as part of DO-IT Center’s NSF-funded AccessComputing project, where you will find more information on making technology accessible. If you are interested in discussing accessible Web design, come to the monthly AccessibleWeb meeting, where UW Web developers are especially welcome.
Richard Ladner, UW Boeing Professor in Computer Science and Engineering, presents the 2010 Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture on April 22, Earth Day. Hear about new directions in accessible computing, with examples of UW software and hardware solutions that make computers and other aspects of life more accessible to persons with disabilities. Get details and register by April 15.
Making wireless cell phone communication through sign language a reality in the U.S is the goal of MobileASL, a video compression project at the University of Washington. Professors and graduate students from Electrical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, and the Information School do the research.