ATI Newsletter - Spring 2022

Published March 10, 2022

March 7, 2022

A Message from our ATI Steering Committee Sponsors

Welcome and hope that the Spring 2022 semester is going well for you!

We are excited to see many more students on campus this semester, as we carefully and safely began to repopulate and conduct more on-campus classes.

As we are transitioning to more in-person classes and restoring more activities on campus, our work and efforts on implementing the California State University’s Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) continue. In this issue of the ATI Newsletter, we will share with you the following updates on our accessible technology efforts:

  • BeachBoard to Canvas: Enhanced Accessibility Features
  • ReadSpeaker: Test and Pilot Deployment
  • Campus Accessibility Resources
  • Campus Website Upgrade Efforts
  • IT Purchase Acceptance of Responsibility Form

We hope that you will find this issue of our ATI Newsletter informative.

Beth Lessen, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Accessible Technology Initiative Sponsor & Co-Chair
 
Min Yao, Ph.D.
Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Accessible Technology Initiative Sponsor & Co-Chair

BeachBoard to Canvas: Enhanced Accessibility Features

Over the next year, the campus will undergo a gradual transition from BeachBoard to a new learning management system (LMS) called Canvas. Canvas is the predominate LMS used by many other universities, including most of the CSU campuses. For more information about the CSULB Canvas project, please visit the ATS Canvas at the Beach site.

Among many other improvements, Canvas offers enhanced features to support the development of accessible courses and learning materials, such as:

  • High contrast user interface options that can be toggled on and off by the user to accommodate low vision or color-blind students.
  • A quick and easy tool for instructors to record video and edit captions directly into the course. 
  • An accessibility checker that provides automatic notification to the instructor when course elements require accessibility remediation work. 
  • A customizable course navigation menu where instructors can easily turn off unused features and provide a more streamlined experience for students who are using screen readers.
  • A library of accessible courses and templates that can be imported into exiting course content to save instructor’s time in having to re-create courses from scratch.
  • On-demand resources within the interface where instructors can reference accessibility recommendations and standards throughout the course development process.

In addition, Blackboard Ally will continue to be available as an integrated tool within the new Canvas system.

We are looking forward to the expanded options that Canvas brings to facilitate the creation of accessible course content.


Campus Accessibility Resources

As the campus repopulates, BMAC continues to support faculty and staff accessibility efforts and training in the face-to-face, hyflex, and virtual learning environments. Faculty and staff are encouraged to learn more about campus accessibility resources as well as enroll in AIM Center’s BeachBoard ATI Modular courses in support of campus universal design.


ReadSpeaker Pilot Coming Soon

Starting in Summer 2022, Academic Technology Services (ATS) and Instructional Technology Support Services (ITSS) are collaborating to pilot an exciting new text-to-speech software tool called ReadSpeaker. ReadSpeaker reads aloud the text on a page, including content, images, quizzes, and assignments within the learning management system. ReadSpeaker will be available in BeachBoard and Canvas, the new learning management system scheduled for full implementation in Fall 2023.

ReadSpeaker will give students more options to access content and aligns with the principles of universal design for learning.


Campus Web Upgrades

Our campus continues the work on upgrading its hosted cloud web content management system (Drupal).  Upgrading to the latest version of Drupal will allow the campus to stay current with Drupal’s updated functionality and security features.  The project will also upgrade the website to the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) version 2.1AA.  This is a big project with an expected launch in 2022.


Acceptance of Risk for Non-Compliant Technology Purchases

The Departments of Contracts and Procurement and the Division of Information Technology want to make the campus aware of an important change coming to our technology purchase process.

All university procurements for technology equipment, software and services must be reviewed prior to their purchase because our campus is legally required to provide accessible and secure technology solutions.  This includes the use of “no-cost” technology solutions. Failure to provide accessible and secure technology equipment, software, or services can result in lawsuits, data breaches, and other actions against our university that carry financial penalties and can damage the university’s reputation.   For this reason, an office/unit or college that wants to proceed with the purchase or use of technology that is not compliant with our university’s accessibility or security requirements will be asked to accept any risk that arises due to the use of that technology.   Acceptance of this risk must be approved and signed by a Dean or Associate Vice President on behalf of the university.

Acceptance of Risk started on December 2, 2021, for both new technology purchases as well as existing technology renewals. If you have any questions about this change, please direct them to purchasing@csulb.edu.


Did You Know…

Did you know that CSULB’s Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum will make color enhancing Enchroma glasses available in the museum for people experiencing color blindness?