Example 3 – Embedding Web Accessibility into a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
Improving the Online Learning Environment for both Distance and On-Campus students.
Note: Web accessibility can be included in a QEP Report. While these plans are individual and vary based on the institution, this example shows how it can be included as a component of a QEP. Only the text relating to web accessibility is included in this example. This text would be nested within the full text of the completed QEP. The templates could then be used in the QEP impact reports to highlight the work being done.
- Background and Overview of the University
- Description of the Current Online Environment
- Development of the QEP
- Development Team
- Key Issues
- Web accessibility for students with disabilities is becoming a prominent issue for our institution. In addition to ensuring that all of our students have the ability to succeed, it also can provide benefits for students with mobile devices, students for whom English is a second language, and multi-modal learners. This issue is significant as it also is in line with evolving legislation and is the topic of a growing number of lawsuits.
- Relevant Research
- Institutional Capacity
- Areas of Focus
- GOAL3: Ensure that the institutional web is accessible to all – including those with disabilities
- Objective 1 – Develop an Accessibility Policy
- Objective 2 – Develop A Comprehensive Accessibility Plan
- Objective 3 – Educate and Train Faculty and Staff on Creating Accessible Materials
- Potential Impact of the Plan
- Congruence with Principles and Mission of the University
- Ensuring that the web is accessible is directly tied to our mission of a commitment to quality and a pledge to serve all of our students. It also promotes the institution as socially responsible and engaged with the needs of both the campus and broader community.
- Student Outcomes
- An accessible web allows students with disabilities to engage in academic activities and education along with their peers without having to wait for materials to be adapted for them. This ability to independently interact with educational materials and the academic environment will allow these students to compete and complete their work without having to rely on others to progress. This will likely result in better academic outcomes and retention for these students. In addition, accessible digital materials have the potential to improve the outcomes of other students as well. Accessible materials can promote learning for students for whom English is a second language, those using mobile devices, multi-modal learners, and those using older equipment or working in environments where they cannot use their speakers.
- Assessment of the QEP
- Web Accessibility improvement will be assessed using a variety of methods including; iterative, manual and automated sampling of web pages, accessibility surveys from a variety of consumers, and evaluation of the requests and issues found by the disability resource center (DRC).
QEP Impact Report
Note: The narrative of the Impact Report would be developed with the templates being inserted where appropriate. For example, the template from the first two examples could be used to highlight the work done with faculty training and development*:
GOAL 3 - Objective 3 – Educate and Train Faculty and Staff on Creating Accessible Materials
One of our objectives under GOAL 3 - Ensure that the institutional web is accessible to all – including those with disabilities was to educate and train faculty and staff to create accessible materials. This was undertaken in the following ways:
|Faculty Workshops||These workshops are offered each semester and focus on developing online materials. We include training and materials on web accessibility during these workshops.|| A copy of the training materials are attached
The attendance lists for the last 4 workshops are attached
The announcement for the next workshop is available online at: www.randomwebaddress.edu
|The workshops are gaining popularity and we are considering adding a more intensive summer workshop|
|Technical Support Personnel||We have hired two new technology support people with accessibility experience who can support faculty and staff in their web accessibility efforts||Resumes of these staff are attached||Our new staff are starting to teach the existing personnel about accessibility so our pool of knowledge is growing|
|Our student Help Desk employees are required to attend the Faculty Workshops for online material development||All new and existing Help Desk staff are required to attend the workshops so that they understand the issues and can assist faculties, staff, and students who call in with questions.||A list of Help Desk employees and attendance status is attached|
Describe any evidence that is currently in development
We are in the process of creating an online resource with information on how to make webpages and other materials accessible.
*Note – there are templates specifically for developing an accessibility policy and an accessibility plan in the template document.