March 2019 WAPL Transcript
Nate Evans: Hey, what's up everybody, this is Nate from the Digital Content and Accessibility Team, within MSU IT. You know we had a great meeting last month. Jesse Earley and Stephen Thomas kicked us off from the College of Natural Science. What I appreciated that they did is they talked about their digital accessibility program from a couple different perspectives. Jesse talked about their digital properties and their web presence and how they're checking for accessibility there, and then Stephen talked about the staff training that they're focusing on proactively, as well as some of the work they're doing in teaching and learning on the academic side of the house. So, really really cool to hear from a few different perspectives.
And then, you may not know this, but one of the fastest growing areas that the RCPD has seen, is students who are registering with psychiatric disabilities. Which, personally, this is not an area that I have a ton of experience in, so it was really great that Leslie brought some information, some awareness and understanding, on the topic. And, you know what, the main goal is really trying to find ways to support our students, faculty and staff. So, I think if you listen to that segment it will be really helpful to you.
I also want to give a reminder, May 16th, save the date it's IT Next – Access and Inclusion. Which is in alignment with Global Accessibility and Awareness Day. It's gonna be a conference that's free, the afternoon of the 16th from 1 to 4, and there's an optional reception afterwards. You can register now on webaccess, just go to the left-hand navigation, you'll see IT Next conference, definitely check it out. It's a good resource for you and the folks within your colleges and departments.
Lastly, I want to talk a little bit about some of the resources we've added. DCAT, we've been a bunch of busy bees, over the last month, and there's a lot of new content there that revolve around provost Youatt's digital content guidelines for instruction update. If you haven't read that, you can read it on webaccess, as well as some of the supplemental material we've provided. Basically, if you have faculty or academic staff that have questions around, ok how does this impact me? Yes, I use .pdf, what does that mean for me? Or, yes, I use publisher content, what should I be doing? There's a lot of helpful resources there. I also want to give a shout out to our colleagues at CU Boulder. They gave us permission to share some of the great content that they had provided, that really addressed some of the faculty questions directly.
So, hopefully that will be useful to you, and then as we wrap up, our next meeting, April 5th is our next Web Accessibility Policy Liaisons Meeting, Thanks for listening and I hope you can join us.
Welcome everybody to meeting number 41. We've never met in this room. This is super cool. Thank you uh, Jesse and Steven for setting up 105 Natural Science. It's fun to change it up a little bit. We have a less packed agenda than last month. Again I am so sorry that that was so chaotic last month. We have a few things we're gonna go through. First of all, we're going to start off, Jesse and Steven are gonna talk a little bit about the digital accessibility program within the College of Natural Science. We've been trying to do that every month with the folks who are hosting in different buildings. So excited to hear more about that. We have Leslie Johnson from the RCPD to talk about a specific topic this week. We want to talk a little bit about the save the date that we talked about last month, in alignment with global accessibility awareness day.
We want to talk about a number of new resources from the past month that have gone out, few of them and I just want to take a few minutes to walk through those. And then lastly if we have time, we may not get to this and that's okay. If it drops off the agenda this month, I will send it out in the slide deck and then we'll reserve some time next month, but we wanted to walk through some of the feedback that we've collected. Jess not from the MSU Innovation Hub, helped me collect all the feedback we got last month and the month before in the retrospective. She helped me summarize that, put it together. So I want to share some of that feedback you've given us. Does that all sound good? Alright without further ado. I'll welcome Stephen and Jesse up.
Stephen: For those of you who don't know me, I'm Stephen Thomas. I'm in the College of Natural Science. The way that our College handles accessibility is a split between three people. So between me and Corey Feta Hartley, and then Jesse, we divide it mostly between web and academics. From our side of the academic aisle, we've been looking at different ways of how do we improve the culture of accessibility with faculty? One of the first pieces that we've been working on is an accessibility liaison network. So each department has identified someone and again, we see a similar split sometimes those departments have one person handling both the academic and the website and sometimes they've split it.
And so what we're trying to do is create a network that we meet more regularly than we are currently. That's one of our goals because currently it's we meet and if there's issues, then we might meet again. But we're hoping to shift that to being more community-based, and one of the things that we're going to be doing more recently is moving from a D2L site to having a Microsoft teams, because hopefully that will allow for things like chatting around issues, and collecting files in a more dynamic way. So that's one of the things that we're hoping to implement this coming out. And again with that with the team's you can actually embed a one-note notebook in the team and so we're hoping to use that as a manual, because when we have turnover with regards to the accessibility liaisons, then once they're added to that they're in the community, they can chat and discuss, but they also will have all the resources right there that they can draw upon.
One of the things that we are finding is an issue is even with this split right? With web and academics. We have a, a population of faculty who are focused on research, who may not actually have experiences trying to think about accessibility or mediating. One of the things that we've been thinking about is how do we either reach that population, or how do we create a culture that finds a way to reach them? One of the things we're working on is accessibility for staff. Again one of the things that we've I think come to realize is that we talk about it with regards to people who are specifically involved in web development creation of content and academics, but honestly, the call for accessibility is across the board, and it's supposed to be for everyone. So how do we create a culture where everyone is interested in trying to think about accessibility?
We've created an award system. So this first case we're dealing with Word documents, so there's a certificate that they get upon completion of three badges, and our philosophy behind this has actually been, not comprehension. I mean comprehensive ... We want comprehension, but we don't necessarily want a comprehensive, in-depth overwhelming training. The goal is how do we have a touch point where people can stick their toe and see what it's all about, and then hopefully follow up upon. We've taken content that was created by the web access people. We've gotten feedback from Cal with regards to badging system, and the broad with their work on the web access piece, and created these very minute chunks.
The idea is that you can earn a badge in 15 minutes. You can earn a badge on the navigation and how do you think about navigation in roughly 15 minutes. The whole certificate around word accessibility takes about 45 to an hour. It's a relatively low bar that people can get in and feel what it's about. We're trying to do more about intrinsic motivation. We've tried ... Do y'all know what rick rolling is? We tried something about accessibility rolling where it was like here's this cute cat video, go check it out, and when you check it out, it's like me saying "This isn't a cat video, go do your accessibility training link below." Right or we have memes that we've generated that when someone finishes a badge, it generates a meme like with Kermit the Frog drinking his tea saying something like, "I'm enjoying my accessibilitea, got navigation bars or something like that.
And the idea is, it sends that to people who have finished the badge and says, please email this to five of your colleagues, and the idea is can you create a culture of trying to pass it along and trying to have expectations of accessibility. I think philosophically we're still trying to wrestle with ... Because I find myself doing and I'm like, "How do we get people to include this in their evaluation?" Which is really about extrinsic motivation. But at some time we're trying to create ways of increasing intrinsic motivation for thinking about it.
Anyway, these are ways that we are dealing with trying to increase accessibility. Casey Henley from our college is co facilitating The Learning Community with Latonya Motley from Cal/Broad on accessibility and Universal Design, and our next steps are using the I-TeachMSU to create playlists for academics to think about accessibility and working with RCPD, and I'm Steven blasters projects on accessible equations. That's a huge piece that I think both Jeremy from the Broad and I've been thinking about how do we get faculty to make more accessible equations. So I think that's from the academic side. Those have been are things that we've been focused on and then I'll pass this over to Jesse, who will talk about from the web perspective.
Jesse: Hello? For those of you that don't know me. My name is Jessie Earley. I'm a Digital Media Manager here for the College of Natural Science. As Stephen said I handle the website of accessibility. I actually do have a little bit of a demo here, or a couple of demos I'm gonna run through. From my end ... I work with all of our content editors. We have roughly 95 websites or so, about 300 in ... It's about 340 content editors in total. I work directly with about a third of them, that third is recognized as the primary content editors, or the site owners the primary content editors or the site owner, whose the primary contact for the site. Those are the ones that deal with on a month-to-month basis for accessibility. Everyone else, I have an accessibility band, I was going to beat into them.
There's a couple different things I do each month. So one thing that I do is I send out just a accessibility email, to all those content editors. That includes different things like tips, tricks some how to stuff. There are different accessibility issues that I see each month on different sites within our CMS. And if I see those happen repeatedly, I call those out in the monthly emails that I send out and tell people how to fix and address those issues. One of the other emails that I send out once a month is an accessibility report. We have to communicate to IT the status of our websites in terms of their accessibility status each month. One thing that we have built in, so we use the mirror content management system. This is an open source CMS. One thing that we've built is a custom plugin that we've named mirror accessibility. So this runs on DQ Labs axe core. If you're not familiar with that, it's out here on GitHub.
Essentially what that does is it allows our content editors to automatically scan a do not emit scan of their website. So if I go to our plugins here, for example, and I pull up the mirror accessibility plug-in. So the load here, you can see it shows how many pages are on this site, and in this particular instance. We're looking at the College of Natural Science website. I can click on start checking the site, and we'll go through and we'll scan the content on each one of those pages. So again, this is an automated process. So it's not going to catch everything, but this is something that our content editors can run once a month. A lot of them don't. What I do is at the end of the month I run this accessibility tool for each of our websites, and I sent out a report to each of the website content editors that happens to have any accessibility issues on it. For this previous month, for February when I ran this about 80% of our sites didn't have any issues at all for this tool, and about 20% did.
I sent out accessibility report to those sites, and the report includes a link to the page, it includes what the issue is and includes a link to DQ, on how to actually address that particular issue. One site that I know of that has some issues on it is this impact site. If I click on the about page here, so I'm actually authenticated right now. I'm log into our system and since I'm an admin across the entire CMS, I have access to all these sites, but I'm logged in as an editor here, and you'll notice that we have this number up here in the top right corner. If I click on that that'll show ... Well first of all, the number shows how many issues there on that particular page, and if I click on it, you'll see that it expands here, and it shows what the issues are, and if I click on one of them it will actually highlight it and show what that issue is. If I click on this, the heading here it gives me more information about what the issue is, and actually explains how to go about fixing that.
A lot of our content editors once I send out the report to them they go through it. They fix it just fine. Some of them still have issues, they're not entirely sure what this means, so they'll contact me and I'll go through and walk them through the process of actually addressing the issue. So that's what I do on a monthly basis. One of the other tools that we introduced for accessibility is our accessibility toolbar here. I saw this on a Township website, in the Township that I live in. Something very similar to this, and I actually looked it up and it was actually a paid product. I'm like, "Well I can come up with something very similar for free." I essentially did that. I have this out on GitHub as well. It's free, open source, if you want to download it play around with it, but for the website visitors, it gives them different tools to make it more accessible for them.
As you can see, we've got gray scale, got them link highlighting. We can change the contrast, increase the text size. And with that we've got our links directly to the site accessibility page. We've got a link directly to the site Maps. If you're unsure of the keyboard combination, how to activate that, if you're doing keyboard navigation, the very first tab will bring up the option to bring up the accessibility toolbar, and you can activate it that way it shows on here, on this particular page how to activate it, that's just what the alt shift A button, and since our content management system uses the same theme throughout, this is on all of the websites that we host within our CMS. Those are some of the things that we're doing for users, and those are some of the things that we're doing for content editors for accessibility.
Nate Evans: Awesome. Jesse thank you, Stephen thank you. Appreciate you guys sharing what you're learning, what you're doing. I have not seen a lot of that stuff. That's really cool. Next up Leslie Johnson from the RCPD.
Leslie Johnson: All right. I'm talking about accessibility for students with psychiatric disabilities. In one of the previous meetings that I was presenting, I showed this chart that has the breakdowns for students at MSU that are registered with our office, and what disability they have and are self identified with, so you can see psychiatric disabilities is 33%. It's one of our largest populations right there with learning disabilities. These statistics are a little bit off for psychiatric disabilities, because this just shows students that have permanent disabilities, but we also have a lot of students especially with psychiatric disabilities, that have just temporary accommodations. So maybe for a semester or a semester or two just for different reasons. When you calculate those in, it does end up being higher than learning disabilities. And it's also one of the fastest growing so we get new students every day.
When we're talking about psychiatric disabilities, what that means is it's any mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. So our most popular are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar and then there's eating and substance abuse disorders. For students with psychiatric disabilities, one of the reasons that this is one of our fastest growing areas is because it's a lot more common. A lot more people are identifying with a psychiatric disability. And then the interesting thing is that students don't really start showing signs of a mental health condition until the ages of 15 to 25, which is right around the time that they would be going to college.
There's already so many stressors in college life, academic demands, relationships, friends moving away from home, so if somebody has a any amount of mental health condition that just tends to intensify it and make it impact them a lot more. Students with psychiatric disabilities have a difficult time with receiving information, processing it and just handling, that extra stress that comes with college. Stress and anxiety are one of the biggest impacts that students face, is they just got like a blank feeling so often students say, "I go to take my exam and I know everything and as soon as I get the exam, I just go blank and forget everything that I have ever learned about that subject." So that's just one of the most common ways that stress can impact students. Another thing that impacts them is just the side effects from medications. There's a lot of different medication that students are on for psychiatric disabilities. So not only are there a lot of bad side effects, and adjustment to those but it really impacts memory, attention alertness, and energy and just their overall motivation, which are all very important things to have when you're in college and trying to be successful.
The other thing is that, it is an invisible disability and it's often unpredictable. Students often are not sure how to get help with it, or if they need to get help just it's not like a visible disability that people can readily see, and give them resources. Typically students with psychiatric disabilities have to go out on their own and try to find resources which can be challenging, and then it's unpredictable. So there's no planning for it, you could be doing great and then all of a sudden, during final exams, it flares up and impacts you. So just being able to handle those unpredictable events. This is just a list of some of the most common experiences students with psychiatric disabilities face while they are a student.
The number one is communication. They have a very hard time communicating whether it's with their Professor, with other students and a lot of that goes into just there's a stigma behind it. They often feel overwhelmed or are unsure of how to get help at a time when they need that help, because of their mental health condition, communications is just even harder for them, just because of everything else that they're dealing with. Along with that, I said nervous to talk to Professor's and ask for help. I think that's the number one thing I hear all day every day for my students that I work with, is they're terrified to go talk to their professors. It's just because of the professor may have done nothing wrong. It's just a very scary thing to do, because they seem to be like the authority figure, and just having to go up and talk to them and tell them that they need help is just a very scary thing for them to admit.
The other, difficulty with attendance, whether it's just because of impact from their disability or if they've been hospitalized, they have difficulty with attendance at times and then even when they are attending class, they have a hard time with attention and concentration, and just being able to always get a lot out of the lectures or classes. Along with that is short term and long-term memory deficit, so they could be sitting in a class and hear the lecture, and then when they walk out forget it, again from the stress and not being able to retain that information. The other thing is difficulty with organization and time management. Those executive functioning skills that are very important, time management, planning, organizing are usually impacted with students with psychiatric disabilities. The obvious is feelings of low self, and not feeling good about yourself, not confident, difficulty working in groups ... There's just the general ... I mean everybody has a difficult time usually working with groups sometimes, but it was that added social anxiety component which can make it really difficult, especially in our large classes.
Walking into a giant lecture hall can be very intimidating and overwhelming. And then in that large lecture hall, the fear of being called on, that's another thing that I hear a lot of. They're like, "I sit in class, and the whole time all I can think about is, oh my gosh is the professor going to call me to ask me to speak?" And so then by the end of the class I've listened to nothing, because I've been thinking about being called on the whole time. So just trying to help students through that. These are just some more common challenges. One of the biggest thing is students often wait to self-identify with us, until they're really in a bad crisis, or they are just doing really poorly in their classes. Right now like midterm time, the end of the semester is when the amount of the students with psychiatric disabilities really flood us at RCPD. They may be realizing that they're not doing well this semester, and so they reach out to get help and at that point, a lot of times it's too late. There's not that much that we can do.
We really try to encourage self-identify and reach out as soon as possible. Even if you're doing fine at that moment. The other thing is students are often unsure of where to get help, it's not really common that a student with anxiety depression would correlate that to be able to receive disability accommodation. It's students that that's blind or visually impaired ... It's just second nature they would go and get accommodations for assistance, with psychiatric disabilities there's just not that immediate connection. The other thing is just self motivation, there's ... Moving psychology is a big transition. There's no parents that were probably very involved before, and keeping them on task and helping them be motivated if they're having a day where they're not feeling like they can be as successful in classes. Their parents were there to push them. So they don't have that. The other thing is students often are coming in, and it's surprising how little skills they have for like time management and note-taking, and study habit. They just are not ... I don't know if they're not teaching that as often high school, or they're just not knowing what to ... Or how to do that. So we're often just going back to the basics of how to take notes, which is a big hurdle for them.
These are the most common accommodations that we provide for students with psychiatric disabilities, prior to enrollment that just allows them to sign up for their classes earlier, so they can pick classes that time of day that are better, locations that are better. A lot of them rather than picking a class that is two days a week for a longer amount of time they'll pick, a class that spread out over more days but a shorter time period so they can maintain focus better. The other is testing accommodations, extended time and separate testing rooms. So that time pressure and seeing the clock ticks down can just increase anxiety. And then having a separate room with less distractions and not seeing people finish. I know I hear a lot like "As soon as people start finishing the exam. I feel like I have to rush because I'm falling behind." So without that distraction they can focus better.
Another big one is note-taking assistance. They're in their in class, having a copy of the PowerPoint slides and it often getting access to that beforehand is very helpful. So they know what to expect when they're going to class, and then being able to record lectures. So if they're having a difficult time with memory, they can listen to it later and then we talk a lot about different note taking technology, Microsoft OneNote and the smart pen. Both which have the recording option and make note taking a little bit easier flexibility with attendance is another one that I talked about on the previous slide, but just being able to have that flexibility. So if they do miss a class being able to work with the professor to make that up, or if they need to step out of class they're able to do that requesting additional deadlines.
So if they have a flare up with their condition, you know, right before and assignments to do, being able to request that extra time and a lot of times students, just knowing that I can do that is what helps keep my mental health better. Alternative methods for in class participation and presentations. Again, this is a big one I talked about, just the fear of being called on in class, and having to speak. Obviously there's a lot of times we that's an essential component for the class, but just giving you a heads up to the student often helps. I'm going to call on you today. So that way if they can prepare, and know that's coming and then presentations. There's a lot of different ways to do that besides standing in front of the entire class. Just being creative and thinking of how that can be besides the environment where they're not going to really do successful.
And then we do housing accommodations. So single rooms and service animals emotional support animals. We have a lot of those on campus and they're all very unique animals. Just some tips to support students with psychiatric disabilities, is really encouraging students to share their visa, and talking about it in a positive way. We hear so many stories about either there is no disability statement in the syllabus, or when the instructor talks about it, they just talked about it in a very negative way. So then the student, is already facing some beer of talking to the professor, and then when they've talked about the visa and accommodations in a negative way, it just makes that process even more difficult for them. Providing an advanced notice of course assignments and expectations.
A syllabus, I'm always shocked to how many professors don't provide a syllabus, or a course calendar or anything and something like that just really helps so they know what to expect what's coming up, and assignment rubrics. What is expected for an assignment. Supportive faculty, just again being open to implementing accommodations, getting support from the Department too, and the faculty has to provide testing accommodations. It's really helpful when there's a system in place for the college and Department support to kind of help with faculty. Organization and time management skills. Like I said helping students or meeting with students and helping them break down, or having ideas on how to break down assignments, organize their time and complete that.
Universal design techniques are going to really help students with psychiatric disabilities and just meeting the different learning styles, providing different types of assignments or approaches will help. Having some structure and being held accountable, and expectations are going to be really helpful and in campus connections just having faculty peers or student organization and helping these students kind of connect to those and maybe facilitating those connections among peers, or groups or if there's student organizations within that collars or program. So just helping make those connections. I think that's it. I just went through and broad overview about psychiatric disabilities. Anyone have any questions or ... Yeah?
Speaker 5: Do students need to have a clinical diagnosis in order to receive services from RCPD?
Leslie Johnson: Yes. Yep. The question was you students need to have a clinical diagnosis to receive services, and they do. It has to be a clinical diagnosis, and it has to actually be from a mental health professional. So even if we get like a clinical diagnosis from like a family doctor, we could rearrange the accommodations temporarily, while they try to get connected to a mental health professional, but it has to be from a psychologist psychiatrist therapist, counselor has to be from a specialist. Yes.
Speaker 5: So how does that comport with [inaudible] nature somebody's symptoms?
Leslie Johnson: Yes, that would be like if a student ... PTSD is one that is often going to be temporary. So if a student, was just recently diagnosed with PTSD due to a traumatic event. It may be that they're really having a lot of impacts right now, and you know, maybe in a semester or two, they're not going to have those impacts, or they hope they're not going to have those impacts or the same impact. So that's where that could be temporary.
Speaker 6: Will you be sharing your slides?
Leslie Johnson: Absolutely. Oh, and she asked if I'd share my sides and I said, absolutely. All right. Thank you.
Nate Evans: Thank you, excellent. I've really been enjoying having you and Angela here at these meetings to go into different topics and talk about this. Help us to learn about the students that go here at MSU so, thank you. Okay so just going to continue on with the agenda here for a moment, last month, I teased out a save the date for May 16th. We are going to be having a conference called IT next. We have a little bit more information that is now available on the web access website. I just want to take a peek there. If you go to our home page, it's now part of the left-hand navigation all the way at the bottom just called IT next and this gives you a little bit ... A brief information about when it's happening and a location on campus. We're going to be meeting at the Clarabelle Smith Center, which I had never been to, or heard of before. Anybody else never heard of that place for before?
Speaker 7: I go by it every day I'm sure.
Nate Evans: You go by there all ... That's true. So it's actually right across from the stadium ,and it's a really great location, holds about a couple hundred people. We went and checked it out just to make sure it would be a really accessible spot and I think it's going to fit really well for us. So more information is going to be coming out over the next month once we have firmed up some stuff but expect a half-day type event, and expect it in the afternoon of that day. Again more information as soon as we have it, but for now at least know that it is in alignment with global accessibility awareness day, which happens globally only on the 16th.
All right moving on. The next thing that I want to share are a number of new resources. In fact, I'm just going to stay in the browser for this. There were a number of new updates that we added to web access over the last month. We think they're going to be really helpful to you as liaisons kind of coordinating within your colleges and departments. So I just want to take a moment to walk through these. The first is we've started ... You've probably noticed microphones for the first time in these WAPL meetings since January, and so what we've been doing. I've been getting a lot of feedback from people to say "Hey, would you live stream that? I can't make it into campus on the days that you meet or at the times that you meet." And for a number of different reasons, We said, "We can't live stream that, but let's record them and make them available as a podcast." Nick has been doing an awesome job editing these things together, and putting them into a format. We call them a podcast because our desire is to send those out via RSS, to like iTunes and Android podcast. We're still trying to get that sorted out.
For now, if you want to listen to the recording from the previous month, you go to our schedule page on web access, look up the date, and if there isn't a recording there just know that we probably didn't record it. We did start these in January. So if you click on the audio button that's going to send you to media space, and then you can play it from there. Yeah got a fun bumper at the beginning. All right, I give a couple minute overview of what is going on, what we talked about from the last month and then you can skip the different points in the recording. Hopefully is another easy way for you to understand if you didn't get to a meeting, kind of what we covered in the meeting and catch up that way. It's also a great way to send it out to your folks, in your colleges if there's interest in a specific topic, that's a great way to kind of share that with them if there's something specific that you think would be helpful to them.
There's also a transcript too, so if you'd prefer to not listen to my voice, you can read the transcript. You can have Siri read you the transcript if you want. However you want to do that. So we'll be adding those podcasts and transcripts as soon as we have them done each month. We're still trying to work out the bugs of the workflow, but we're getting there. Okay, the next thing I want to show off, how many saw the recent digital content guidelines for instructional content from the Provost? Yay, okay, that is really good news. I'm happy about that. Sometimes DDC's don't always make their way to all of us. Anybody ever have that experience? That makes you really happy that you all saw that. We tried to use a social approach to push some of this content out as it came forward. But essentially the memo is intended to be a reminder about PDFs and some of her initial comments on something that was referred to as e-texts back in 2013.
Six years have gone by that's been a long time and so it's reframing, and updating some of those expectations for the use of digital content and the instructional environment and so you can go through here, and see what kind of expectations that she laid out here. Couple of the things that you want to focus on, because there are other resources that I think are going to be specifically helpful to your faculty and staff. The first of which is under bullet point force, called faculty questions about digital content. This is intended to provide some questions, and it's actually shared from our colleagues at University of Colorado Boulder. They had this great bit of content put together, and I asked them if we could share it with our campus with attribution, and they gave us access to that. And so what it does is it provides a framework for you and your faculty to be able to ask questions about publisher content, before they may adopt it within their course.
It asks questions like contact the publisher, and ask for information about the accessibility of the product, before you add it. It has a bullet here about reviewing any assessments that you may be taking from a publisher, and here's a way you might be able to do that. You can consult with digital accessibility specialist. That's our team, or we can get you connected with other folks that maybe can help you in better ways, and then notifying your students about what kind of course materials you're using before you use them in the course. It also has some boilerplate language that may be helpful for syllabi. So if you have questions about that, you can definitely read more on this page. It also gives a really great example from some of the work that's happening with Heidi and her colleagues within the Big Ten Academic Alliance, as well as Graham from UARC, who's one of the featured reviewers? This is a really good example of databases, and other bits of publisher information that are being reviewed for accessibility.
They're posting those publicly through the Big Ten Academic Alliance. You can review those there other institutions can review them. It's becoming a really great repository. So if you haven't seen that or checked that out before, I definitely encourage you to take a look at that.
Speaker 8: [inaudible] learn from this page Nate?
Nate Evans: Yeah.
Speaker 8: Under bullet number three is possible to link over where you stay, accessibility policy liaison over to the WAPL list of us?
Nate Evans: Absolutely. Yes. Yeah great point we'll do that.
Speaker 8: All right thanks.
Nate Evans: Yeah. Oh, yeah the question was can we add a link to the web accessibility policy liaisons to web access, so we'll get that added. Excellent any other questions about the DDC or this faculty resource here? Okay, I'll keep moving on. Another resource that we developed really recently. We had some great feedback from Scott Schopieray, from Latonya Motley in Broad and a few others is this idea about preventing changes to digital content. I want to talk a little bit about the background for this. So there is a sense I think and it and it's in completely fair. We've been using PDFs for many many many years. Early on when Adobe launched PDF, that was kind of the standardized way to provide course materials to your students, because it was a free reader that they could use and download and share right?
And because it was no cost, it was easily used and at the time it was not as easy to edit those PDFs ones that are provided in a course today. It's very easy to edit any kind of digital content. You don't even have to have paid software to do that in a lot of cases. And so this is intended to provide some guidance to faculty, who are very used to using PDF for a lot of really great reasons, and help them understand how you could use Microsoft Word to mark their documents as final, and to provide some transparency around. This isn't going to completely lock down your Microsoft Word Document. In fact that may be impossible to do across the board, but what it will do is Safeguard you in terms of marketing that that document as final and then also providing some course policies on what your expectations are for your students in terms of editing your course content. So just providing some clarity within the syllabus, or within the D2L course however is most convenient. This is just example language that they can they can use. Obviously you could tweak that however, you're most comfortable. It's intended to just kind of meet that concern and provide a helpful resource to you that you can forward on and share. Any questions on this bit of content? Yeah?
Speaker 9: The other piece of back in [inaudible] is that they like to device [inaudible] PDF. You could argue while we are all 365 [inaudible] school related issues liaison, something that's like finance or ... it' because of this take that I really appreciate it, it's easier well, PDF's aren't necessarily uneditable and you can log us out. Do we have a bigger or different answer to the notion that PDF's are more easily disseminated across devices?
Nate Evans: So the question was, do we have a answer for the question that PDFs are more easily dispersed across different devices. We don't here, but that's a really good point. I think we should ... In fact Microsoft would have been learning as I've been having some of these conversations, is a lot of students and faculty don't realize that Microsoft provides their apps for free across, Android, across Windows, across iOS and they all work pretty well, so that may meet that concern. What I like about that, with a PDF on a mobile device, you have to pinch and zoom, it's not a great experience with the native apps regardless of the device you have, makes it so it's mobile friendly and easier to read on a mobile device tablet computer, and it's all free again.
We're trying to meet that need of student cost and try to keep those low, so Microsoft offers something that they can use, your faculty can use. They can be able to call in get and get 24/7, support through the help desk if they need that. So offers a lot of removal of barriers, not just related to digital accessibility as it relates to disability. Any other questions related to this? Yeah?
Speaker 10: One question that I've come across in library land related to this memo but I think could be relevant to certain faculty dealing with historical primary documents is a lot of times PDF is used because it's a scanned copy of an original document gonna be hand written and it has used something in visuals that's really necessarily they believe to get across to student. In that case is [inaudible] recommending the ruling manual labor of making that PDF completely accessible using something like AVI and doing everything ... Or where do you tie in faculty in that case and how is DeKalb dealing with that in course [inaudible] content.
Nate Evans: That's a great question and a question. I'll try to summarize, essentially the idea of what do we do with third-party content that's being delivered in PDF format. What's the recommendation in terms of providing that accessibility. More than anything, I mean, this is a recommendation from our Provost first. I think we should say that but then. Also, you know as well we're starting to get into the world of like is this a copyright challenge, or is this an accessibility challenge, and what are the roles that those ... How do those intertwine sometimes? I know that a copyright lawyer would say you don't want to convert somebody else's content without permission. That would be a copyright violation. So I'm not sure that we're recommending anything up to that point. There's going to be nuances here and there.
I think the spirit of the Provost's message here is really about faculty authored content, but that doesn't answer your question directly. So I think the answer is we don't know yet. Some of that will have to be on a case-by-case basis Leslie, you can correct me if I'm wrong. But if a student has a Visa we would have permission legally to change that.
Speaker 10: Library [inaudible]
Nate Evans: Okay. Okay, so we would be able to do it in those cases by other cases we're just trying to do the proactive thing. That's what such a bummer about this, we wouldn't be able to do that without getting copyright permission. I think it's probably a bigger conversation we should continue to have and start to sort out for sure. Any other questions related to the memo? Yeah, Charlie.
Speaker 11: Related to the PDF's some of the push back that we've gotten is faculty expect that having cited text in a student's paper, and when you produce content and ... And I'm not saying [inaudible] but you know that if you cite paragraph two on page seven, it's always going to be same on that PDF whereas you a [inaudible] format, that paragraphs here on page seven can mean anything right? They are wondering, people are wondering at my college what's the recommendation for citing documents in a way that is not just counting letters or words or something.
Nate Evans: Sure. So the question is about what's the recommendation in terms of citing academically within different documents. Is that ... That's a really good question as well. Yeah?
Graham: I'll throw out there that from my perspective, the methods that are currently used are print specific. It's almost [inaudible] once we start thinking about hitting some structured documents, we can use that instead. Instead of saying this part of page two, it's the text right under this heading. and given that people are using these things on device that you [inaudible] that text. You're actually making it even easier rather than the fourth paragraph down. It's about setting format that also, then helps to encourage putting the headings, and have a good infrastructure in there because that's a necessary thing it helps with other different kinds of disabilities and with everyone in different ways. So [inaudible] work around that is just use the structure of document, structure adopting such a way that you know even if you're referring to what it would look like on a printed sheet of paper every time.
Nate Evans: That's a great recommendation. I'm going to try to summarize recommendation from Graham to address that question maybe more directly rather than citing a specific page. You could cite a heading within a document to move away from more print-based, to more digital methods. Are there any examples of that we see and academia terms of publishing?
Speaker 13: If put that way, right now if you've noticed more in textbooks, and even in scientific books etc., a lot of times, you don't even see footnotes anymore. Somebody has to say, "Oh these five words are foreign to me, let's go look in the index for this page." But in an electronic version of the document [inaudible] the odds are you might find there is a reference and it does give you a lot more information at the back of the book, but you don't see it directly in the paging.
Nate Evans: Interesting. We'll have some more investigation to do and I just want to stress that we'd like to be involved with those conversations. If there's something we can do to help love to set up a time to chat Charlie. All right, any other questions related to the digital content guidelines for instruction? Yeah Heidi?
Heidi: One of the things we were bouncing around is the idea of doing digital documents on our website rather than uploading PDF's or more documents to our website, and is there any kind of recommendation for what's a reasonable size for a said digital document in terms of how many pages I know we're talking about [inaudible] pages, but you can have a really long digital document going if you don't set a limit for might be reasonable.
Nate Evans: So the question is, is there a recommendation for how many pages a document might be? Is that an effort to like ...
Heidi: Digital document.
Nate Evans: Digital document an effort to reduce scrolling maybe or something or?
Heidi: If you got a 50 page report that you are considering, and not sure somebody might do that, into a digital document that would take you forever to try and do that, versus, you know, you've already working in a word document or in design or something with your report, so what seems like a reasonable thing, like from an extension, on the student extension side, we get a lot of fact sheets, or bulletins that are between one to [inaudible] and that might be better for [inaudible] as a digital document, rather than uploading a PDF for download.
Nate Evans: Makes a lot of sense. The first thing that comes to mind in terms of the multiple digital page conundrum would be like a table of contents, so they could jump. They have the contents at the front, and then could jump further down in the document without having to scroll. It might be an easy way to do it at least within a word, or on a HTML webpage kind of quickly. That's something we could bring back to the team, and talk a little bit about or maybe the other folks have other recommendations?
Jim: It's one of those things where sometimes you have to do both. And you'll find that oftentimes for example on the W3 website, they'll have blocks of pieces of the document as separate pages, but they'll also give you the opportunity to go to a whole document in some form or another, and that is extremely beneficial for anybody who wants to do a text search through the whole document as it is, doing it on a huge even though you don't necessarily always want to download that that thing. It's a big benefit if you want to do a text search as opposed to the the little teeny blocks that you discover a page topic at a time. It's kind of a toss-up.
Speaker 16: One of the thoughts I have related to that is we have a lot of these short documents, it would the amount of time we're having to spend remediating PDF's by just remediating private process of building this digital document as an accessible document from the get go. That's where my brain was heading when we were considering those things as not having to do it two times but only have to do it one time. It could be editable document that's very easy to make [inaudible] wouldn't have to produce a whole nother separate document.
Jim: That's a large part of where the [inaudible] memo is coming from essentially, because now faculty members frequently wind up having to have their same document every semester re remediated, because they go back to just make changes to the word document the original ... Maybe they've not got it in accessible form to start with, they should get it in accessible form. We're going to start encouraging [inaudible] get an accessible form first, have the students review it for accessibility first, before you put it up then you don't have to worry about those repeat things down the road.
Nate Evans: We're very excited for that too for that same reason. We're like Jim said we're starting to re-review some of the same content. It's like well we put that inward now, it's back in PDF somehow. How did that happen? We're hoping to get out of that cycle. In fact, we're going to discontinue editing PDFs as part of our services at a certain point. We are going to set a deadline for that. We haven't determined the date yet. But in order to try to encourage folks to continue to move towards native formats. Yeah.
Speaker 17: [inaudible] for years that had 200 page plus page planning documents as part of them. So as part of the grant project, these really long documents are available to the public and for years, I argued against having these documents, because no one was looking through these 200 page documents, and accessibility ended up being one of the things that finally got him to switch to having like a 10 or 20 Page Max in these things, and I was remediating 200 plus page PDFs that were full of maps, and things like that. They were horrible to deal with, and now they switched to more like a 10 page format. Not only are they easier from an accessibility perspective, they're much more consumable and usable to the average user anyway.
So accessibility in a number of ways like that has also been used to question what we're really producing, and whether what we're producing is worth the effort of writing just because it's what we're used to producing as opposed to what the user needs. And so the accessibility can be a method to reinforce or re ask that question. You may end up in a position where it's well, yeah, I guess we ... There'll be initial resistance, but oh, yeah, I guess we could make this a 10-page thing and then great that's so much less work to fix, or to have the person made accessible in the first place that it's transformative for a lot of projects. And so that's one thing I just threw out there as something to think about if possible.
Nate Evans: This was a movement just overall that we were really advocating for in DCAT, because one of the bits of feedback you were giving us over the last, let's say 12 months was "Hey the PDF editing documents Acrobat Pro DC is expensive. Do you expect us to all by that across the unit and that can add up." And so by being able to use something that's a native platform that is free to you and your students, were hoping that can reduce some costs within the unit, but we have ... I'm at my last minute here, so the one last piece of content is not on web access, but I did want to promote it. I hate promoting things that I work on, but I am going to promote this one thing for a really important reason. This is an article that I published through the Hub, the Innovation Hub, and it expands on Provost's DDC.
It talks about sort of the why this is important for access why this movement for MSU, this recommendation is important. So I think it could be a piece that maybe may be helpful on some of the philosophy or the cultural side of things, if you have questions within your unit that are more geared towards that. I think that could be really beneficial. We were we were based on being a land grant institution that provides opportunity based on access. Right? We have a really really great opportunity to provide that opportunity to our student through a free platform that we're supporting, that we're getting behind that's more accessible, has a lot of different benefits to it. This article goes into that, it's a really quick read and hope it's helpful to you. I want a minute over. I apologize for that. I'm going to send out the PowerPoint because we didn't get to everything. Hopefully you can get through some of those notes in the next month. Listen to the podcast read the transcript if you don't want to listen to me, have a great weekend. Thanks everybody.