A long conversation about PDF accessibility and a short update on general training progress.

  • Current deficits with our campus support resources - Kosta
    • We are at a point where we are a mature program and we are done with the initial stage of trial and error where we often created multiple versions of the same resource and sent conflicting messages to the campus; we are now starting with PDFs to solidify and synchronize our recommendations that we stand by on all major document types
    • PDFs are an inherently complex topic and there is no way to reduce this complexity; much of the frustration comes from that fact. The sheer number of documents in this format and the number of sources from which they come make the problem even more daunting.
    • It also means that we will always have to be selective in our plan to fix PDFs - we can’t conceivably vow to fix them all. Our current resources are inadequate, but even with planned improvements they won’t reach 100% coverage.
    • Last but not least, handling this topic requires a collaboration from multiple units - as you can see from the fact that today’s presentation is a collaboration.
  • Online resources – Mike / Laura
    • New official central resource on PDF accessibility
    • External resources - Lynda.com trainings (for intensive training – not for everyone)
      • Q: Have you found any good external resources?
      • Q: Would you be interested in having a live PDF remediation session for the next Open House? If we don’t have time to remediate, maybe we could at least have a live consultation session where Mike can just talk through what he would do to fix them rather than actually doing it, or some combination of the two
    • SensusAccess – Lisa PDF accessibility option Use as a JIT service; not the end-all-be-all of PDF remediation
  • Plans for the future - Kosta
    • New person to support classroom experience (faculty & student-focused)
    • Maybe set up a service to support document accessibility
    • Possible types of support: consultation on needs; vendor recommendations; trainings (or recommendations for trainings); support for specific remediation questions
      • Q: What sort of support would you like to see from a service?
      • Q: What are your training needs within PDF accessibility? Forms? Talk about forms and the idea of just not using PDF forms if avoidable.

Mike Williamson reports:

The training effort has continued, but slowed due to the holiday season and Mike's leave at the start of January.  We have spent a large amount of effort developing the "What is Accessibility" section, as this section sets the tone for the entire training; "why is this topic important and why should you care?"  We also needed to make sure that we've talked with other campus entities that work in the accessibility sphere to ensure we are sending a consistent message.  Once this first section is completed, we believe we already have a great deal of resources with which to generate the remaining content.  We are hopeful to have a soft rollout to a few select entities by the end of the semester and then a larger rollout to campus next Fall.