Cal Poly educators have a responsibility to educate all of its students. This includes learners with recognized differences that require preparation of instructional materials so that they are accessible. It is a legal requirement as well as part of Cal Poly’s commitment to student success. An addition, scholarship has demonstrated that learners – those with recognized limitations as well as those without – can all benefit from being able to engage educational materials in multiple formats that accessibility provide. Teaching methods and procedures that benefit all students is essential to exemplary teaching.
The CSU's Accessible Technology Initiative sets out goals for all campuses in three core areas: Web, procurement, and instructional materials (detailed in this memo from the Chancellor's Office). Our vision at the CTLT is for all instructional materials used by Cal Poly students to be accessible consistent with both the letter of pertinent laws and regulations and the spirit of inclusiveness.
At Cal Poly, the CTLT has responsibility for the third accessibility component: instructional materials. Accessibility has long been a component of all of CTLT's course design and instructional technology workshops. However, three factors have prompted us to expand and enhance our support for accessibility: (1) the expanding amount of online materials, (2) the increasing neurodiversity among students in higher education (3) the increased scrutiny on accessibility support for students in higher education.
To make continued progress toward having all instructional materials accessible both existing archives and newly created content needs to be addressed. This applies whether the materials are created by instructors or a third-party developers (e.g, commercial/professional materials). We are developing a variety of services to support the vision and expect to expand our programming considerably in the near future.
As we debut new accessibility services and programming, we will add them below.
MIDAS Pilot Program
A PILOT DOCUMENT ACCESSIBILITY REMEDIATION SERVICE
As one component of Cal Poly’s support for a more diverse campus community, this program will pilot test a new faculty service designed to make significant progress bringing online course materials up to accessibility standards. Specifically, this is an opportunity for faculty who teach larger enrollment courses that include significant amounts of online documents (i.e., documents, pdfs, slide decks, etc.) to have them reformatted into accessible formats. Lessons learned will provide insights into refining the program and determining the resources necessary for continuing and/or expanding this service. This is a partnership between the Disabilities Resource Center and CTLT, with funding provided by the Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) program in the CSU Chancellor's Office.