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CSULB Year 2 Instructional Materials Accessibility Report, August 15, 2008

Included are: updates to the original plan, reporting on significant tasks that were completed; what we expect to accomplish in 2008-09; areas of difficulty and barriers to completion; and comments on observations and discoveries.

Timely Adoption –
Specifically focusing on scope of materials and late-hire strategy

1a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

Adoption by the Academic Senate of the new Policy on Accessibility and Faculty Responsibility for the Selection of Instructional Materials, PS 08-11, on March 13, 2008.

1b. Plans for 2008/2009

Continuing refinement of business processes associated with the adoption of textbooks by the University Bookstore, the various Colleges, and the Division of Academic Affairs in consultation with Disabled Student Services.

1c. Barriers to completion

The sheer magnitude of materials that must be addressed; lagging efforts at achieving accessibility goals (in some cases) by product suppliers.

1d. Observations/discoveries

There is an existing willingness to achieve compliance; however, time and effort will be required to attain the full level of accessibility desired.

2. Process – Details/ Personnel/ Calendar for Initiative

2a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

High Tech Center staff in Disabled Student Services (DSS) acquired secure access to the university’s admissions and records data in Fall 2007. Students who self-identify with DSS are provided priority registration status. Multiple modes of communication are employed to ensure the broadest coverage possible. Procedures are in place to provide media producers with information regarding needed alternates for students with disabilities.

2b. Plans for 2008/2009

Efforts to continue improving the identification and tracking of students with disabilities remains a fundamental objective.

2c. Barriers to completion

The primary barrier to attaining completion in this particular area is based upon the untimely and sudden passing of the HTC Coordinator. Continuation of these efforts will be slowed by the need to replace this key individual.

2d. Observations/discoveries

 

3. Identification Resources and Allocation Commitments

3a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

The DSS High Tech Center’s Alternative Media Project Leader manages all alternative media requests; makes initial contact with publishers for copyright permissions and e-text requests; acquires alternative media from publishers, the CSU CAM project, or other national repositories; oversees the production of e-text textbooks; and keeps record and tracks all requests, acquisitions, and production tasks.

3b. Plans for 2008/2009

Pending approval of the required resources, student assistants will be hired and trained to assist the Alternative Media Project Leader with the editing, formatting, and conversion of instructional materials. The necessary budget was presented to the university Resource Planning Process (RPP) Committee in Spring 2008. (At this point the results of the budget request process are not yet known.)

3c. Barriers to completion

Lack of needed additional resources.

3d. Observations/discoveries

Total ATI resource needs of $1.2m were reduced and edited down to a request of approximately $500k. This represents a major non-budgeted expense, which is particularly daunting in the context of the current State budget crisis.

Institutional Policies & Procedures
that support the ATI through curriculum and personnel reviews

4a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

After participating in the CSU Learning Management System (LMS) review process, it was determined that the university’s Blackboard-based LMS does not meet CSU ATI requirements. A broadly representative LMS Task Force has been formed with the charge of providing a recommendation to the Provost for an ATI-compliant product by mid-October 2008.

4b. Plans for 2008/2009

To complete the LMS review process, select a compliant product and begin the process of migrating all LMS-based courses (currently estimated at approximately 50% of all courses offered) to the new LMS. In the process, ensure that all migrated courses are fully ATI compliant.

4c. Barriers to completion

The magnitude of the effort required to switch LMS platforms and do the necessary course conversions.

4d. Observations/discoveries

Although approximately only 50% of all courses offered are LMS-based, approximately 86% of all students access the LMS in the course of their academic career. Therefore, achieving full ATI compliance of all LMS-based courses will have a substantial impact.

5. Commitments from All Stakeholders

5a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

ATI Awareness has been raised by discussions in the Academic Senate, Senior Management Council, Resource Planning Process, and in College and Department meetings. A cross-divisional ATI working group has been formed to guide the implementation of the needed changes.

5b. Plans for 2008/2009

A commitment to continue establishing an awareness foundation, beginning with the practice of offering accessibility training sesions (two per week) throughout the 2008-09 academic year.

5c. Barriers to completion

Relate to the existing heavy workloads; perception of over-complicated requirements and procedures; and the general lack of reflection on the impacts of non-compliance on disabled students.

5d. Observations/discoveries

The exposure of faculty and staff to the complexity facing disabled students and their unique needs greatly enhances sensitivity to the issues. Building empathy for individual students generally overcomes antipathy toward perceived bureaucratic imposition by remote entities not directly involved in the delivery of services to students.

6. Shared Responsibilities

6a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

The CSULB ATI Steering Committee was formed with representatives from all areas of the university. The aforementioned ATI Working Group also includes individuals from all divisions. There is broad acceptance of the model of working together to achieve eventual full compliance.

6b. Plans for 2008/2009

To continue cross-divisional cooperative efforts to achieve the objectives of the CSULB IMAP.

6c. Barriers to completion

These include staff turnover, pressures of other responsibilities, lack of needed additional resources, and the current State budget crisis.

6d. Observations/discoveries

There is a widely shared desire to achieve the highest practical level of ATI compliance as soon as possible.

7. Migration from Accommodation to Accessibility

7a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

The ATI Working Group has formulated an Accessibility Operating Plan for the purpose of achieving specific IMAP goals in 2008-09.

7b. Plans for 2008/2009

Complete the aforementioned LMS review process; implement the ATI training curriculum for web page producers at both the web page development and content publisher levels; and introduce pre-publication review processes to ensure compliance of materials at all levels.

7c. Barriers to completion

Lack of needed resources to speed the achievement of compliance, and the enormity of university web-based materials, both in and out of the LMS.

7d. Observations/discoveries

Awareness and attitudes are improving with regard to accessibility issues in general.

8. Early Identification of Students with Disabilities

8a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

The number of eligible students requesting alternate format instructional materials in 2007-08 was identified and carefully tracked. Although the total number of students (45) is small compared to the total student body (37,000), no identified need was unmet.

8b. Plans for 2008/2009

Continue efforts to identify, assist and track students with special needs.

8c. Barriers to completion

Student self-identification and referral is a challenging hurdle.

8d. Observations/discoveries

(None)

9. Process for the Electronic Capture of course materials

9a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

This is an area on the agenda to be addressed.

9b. Plans for 2008/2009

Review needs and develop an implementation plan.

9c. Barriers to completion

Currently there is not enough information on the extent of this problem.

9d. Observations/discoveries

N/A

10. Multimedia

10a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

Identified and implemented (at various levels) a variety of tools to assist in multimedia conversion and delivery, such as LecShare Pro, Elluminate, Jaws, HiSoft ADA Software, etc. Identified needed resources in excess of $500,000, including 5.5 FTE new staff.

10b. Plans for 2008/2009

Continue mitigation efforts until needed new resources become available; make a good faith effort to provide captioning and other services available to faculty and staff; and continue to raise awareness of issues and methods for identifying and resolving problems.

10c. Barriers to completion

Continued lack of needed resources.

10d. Observations/discoveries

The extent of multimedia resources used in instruction is staggering. As podcasting and screencasting become increasingly used by faculty, the need for training and for the availability of easy-to-use tools and procedures will become ever more critical.

11. Incentives

11a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

N/A

11b. Plans for 2008/2009

None

11c. Barriers to completion

N/A

11d. Observations/discoveries

We need to make materials and services accessible because it is the right thing to do.

 

12. Training

12a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

Website accessibility training was conducted for a large group of university web developers. The course consisted of two four-hour sessions and a homework assignment. In addition, the planned ATI training curriculum for faculty was developed.

12b. Plans for 2008/2009

Implement the ATI training curriculum with two sessions per week throughout the 2008-09 academic year. The goal is to train 800 individuals per year over a period of three years.

12c. Barriers to completion

Existing heavy workloads; apathy on the part of some individuals.

12d. Observations/discoveries

We plan to conduct the training for carefully selected groups at the beginning to encourage word-of-mouth promotion and acceptance.

 

13. Outreach, Communication, Awareness, Marketing

13a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

All major governing bodies were involved in ATI discussions at some level.
CSULB established a marketing subcommittee at the beginning of the ATI process. A significant accomplishment this year was the creation of a power point presentation to explain the initiative, its componets, whom it serves and why it was established. The presentation was made to every major governing body on campus including President's Cabinet, Academic Senate, Executive Committee of Academic Senate, Staff Council, and Associated Students, Inc., as well as the university-wide committee of webmasters, WebComm. The entire power point presentation is now available on the university's ATI web site.
An article updating campus faculty and staff on ATI progress was included in Inside CSULB in October 2007. The marketing subcommittee determined that it was necessary to "put a face" on the users of accessible technologies, so a two students were selected as demonstrations of how technology aided their educations. The first, a blind student who double majored in Chinese and Journalism, was featured in Inside CSULB and the alumni magazine, The Beach Review, and was featured in a variety of regional and national newspapers and broadcast news stories for his accomplishments. The second student, another blind student who was graduating after serving as a member of the ASI, was one of the featured graduate stories for the years, with stories appearing locally and in her home state of Iowa.

13b. Plans for 2008/2009

Plans are currently under development to provide training, both face-to-face and on demand. Through a variety of communication points, individuals with roles or responsibilities in this enterprise will receive appropriate information about the requirements, processes and procedures for equally effective access to course materials. Examples of such communications include the announcement of deadlines for print-based instructional materials, reminders of venues for training, and information on the procurement of accessible instructional materials. Current training efforts will be incorporated into the new plan.
Marketing efforts will continue in 2008/09. The success of stories meant to "put a face" to the ATI were highly successful. Plans for continued efforts stories to include faculty and staff who benefit from the technology, as well as how the technology makes daily processed and access to information easier for everyone, regardless of ability level.  Materials that would assist those who develop web sites for the university with better understanding accessible technology also are planned.

13c. Barriers to completion

Lack of budget to support the initiative.

13d. Observations/discoveries

Presentation of the power point to various campus groups demonstrated the differences in how people view technology and its potential. It was particularly rewarding to learn how interested staff members, especially, were interested in assisting those who would most benefit from the ATI.

14. Assessment of Faculty Materials to be made accessible

14a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

These efforts were just getting underway in 2007-08.

14b. Plans for 2008/2009

Continue efforts to identify the scope of needed assessment efforts and the tools required to achieve compliance.

14c. Barriers to completion

Distributed model of faculty material development; responsibility of individual faculty to make their materials accessible.

14d. Observations/discoveries

This is a HUGE issue.

15. Tools for Document and Media conversion

15a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

Selected Elluminate as the tool of choice for fostering online delivery of certain kinds of materials; conducted two separate pilot studies.

15b. Plans for 2008/2009

To implement a university-wide license for Elluminate; offer it to all faculty and staff; and provide training on an ongoing basis, including ensuring that materials delivered are accessible.

15c. Barriers to completion

None

15d. Observations/discoveries

We were fortunate to identify early in the discovery process the necessary resources to implement this product. Initial pilot project successes have created a grass-roots demand for the product and interest is burgeoning without particular efforts at promotion.

16. System Wide Shared Resources (CAM etc.)

16a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

N/A

16b. Plans for 2008/2009

None

16c. Barriers to completion

N/A

16d. Observations/discoveries

None

17. System integration

17a. Accomplishments in 2007/2008

Identification of LMS inadequacies with regard to accessibility (see number 4. above).

17b. Plans for 2008/2009

The assimilation of Elluminate into the existing LMS; complete the LMS review process, and identify a compliant product and work toward a fully integrated system (including the CMS) beginning in the Fall of 2009.

17c. Barriers to completion

Budget restrictions coupled with pressures to increase student enrollment (increased student demand). All resources are stretched very thin.

17d. Observations/discoveries

We are fully committed to achieving ATI compliant inclusion within our various instructional support systems, regardless of how long it takes.

18. Things not addressed by the preceding: Please describe any challenges, findings, trends, problems, recommendations and conclusions that you would like to share. If needed please include an appendix.

None

Appendix: Cross reference from Year 2 IMAP Report to IMAP Requirements

Year 2 IMAP Report Topics

IMAP – per Coded Memo AA-2007-04

1. Timely Adoption - Specifically, scope of materials and late hire strategy.

1, 2

2. Process – Details/ Personnel/ Calendar for Initiative

9-11

3. Identification Resources and Allocation Commitments

1-8

4. Institutional Policies & Procedures that support the ATI through curriculum and personnel reviews

6, 7

5. Commitments from All Stakeholders

1-8

6. Share Responsibilities

1-8

7. Migration from Accommodation to Accessibility

1, 2, 4, 5, 7

8. Early Identification of Students with Disabilities

3

9. Process for the Electronic Capture of course materials

1, 2, 4, 7

10. Multimedia

5, 7

11. Incentives

1-8

12. Training

7, 8

13. Outreach, Communication, Awareness, Marketing

8

14. Assessment of Faculty Materials to be made accessible.

1, 2, 4, 5, 7

15. Tools for Document and Media conversion

1, 4, 7

16. System Wide Shared Resources (CAM etc.)

1-8

17. System integration

1-8

18. Things not addressed by the preceding: challenges, findings, trends, problems, recommendations and conclusions

1-11


Instructional Materials Accessibility Plan (IMAP) Main Topics (Coded Memo AA-2007-04):

  • A process for timely adoption of textbooks by faculty.
  • A process for identification of textbooks for late-hire faculty.
  • A process for early identification of students with disabilities who require instructional materials to be provided in an alternate format.
  • A strategy to increase use of the campus LMS for delivering technology-enabled courses, and for posting syllabi and instructional materials online for traditional face-to-face and hybrid and blended courses.
  • A process to incorporate accessibility requirements in the purchase of digital or multimedia instructional materials (captions on videos, for example).
  • A method to incorporate accessibility (where required) in the educational policy addressing course development and delivery
  • A plan to support faculty in the creation of accessible course content.
  • A communication process and training plan to educate students, staff, and faculty about the campus Instructional Materials Accessibility Plan.
  • An evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the campus IMAP.
  • Identification of all campus personnel involved in implementing or overseeing the campus IMAP
  • Chronological listing of all IMAP deliverables (policies, timelines, milestones)