Voices from the Field: Purdue University Calumet

We hope to run this feature on a regular basis but of course we must rely on contributors. We strongly encourage others to share practices in place at their institution. We all benefit by sharing both the successes and challenges of accessibility practices that have been established or changed. Please consider how your experiences could help others. Share what is happening at your institution by contacting us.

Contributor:
Pamela Riesmeyer
Web Accessibility Coordinator
Purdue University Calumet

Purdue University Calumet launched its formal Web Accessibility initiative in earnest in January, 2012. University Relations Web developers had been incorporating accessibility whenever they could, for years, but now we have an official Web Accessibility Policy handed down by our parent school, Purdue University in West Lafayette. The Policy is based on Section 508 and it includes very definite goals, milestones and deadlines. The initiative has full support from Chancellor Thomas Keon and senior leaders, as well as the Office of Equity & Diversity and Human Resources. And, importantly, we were given a budget which allowed for the hiring of a Web Accessibility Coordinator, two part time workers, and the purchase of an automated evaluation tool (HiSoftware's Compliance Sheriff) to help in documentation and benchmarking. We formed two committees and began efforts to raise awareness and provide training for staff and faculty. And we reached out to Web site owners and content editors.

What worked: