MIDAS: Making Instructional Documents Accessible to Students
As one component of Cal Poly’s support for a more diverse campus community, this program provides a new service for Cal Poly faculty to make significant progress in 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.
The purpose of this project is to develop and test tools and procedures for a document accessibility remediation service for its potential as one component of multifaceted support for improving the accessibility in instructional materials across campus, including but not limited to Open Educational Resources. (Note: Enhanced support for video captioning is not included in this project, but is expected to be added in the near future.)
- Identify and refine the most effective methods for remediating documents typically used in online instructional materials, which can provide a model for ongoing services.
- Reformat documents in selected courses into accessible formats and forms, with an emphasis on supporting Open Educational Resources (OER) in use at Cal Poly.
- Use the experience to assess the resources required for providing an ongoing document accessibility remediation service.
Participants include all Cal Poly educators who teach credit-earning courses and currently (or intend to) use online documents for course materials.
Courses best suited for this pilot program will share the following characteristics:
- Use of Open Educational Resources (OER)
- Higher annual enrollments (regular offerings and multiple sections)
- High use of digital documents (e.g., word processing, PDFs, slide decks such as PowerPoint or Keynote, etc.) for online instructional materials that are intended to be reused again over time
- Instructor(s) committed to supporting the project by agreeing to
- Deliver course documents for remediation
- When remediation is complete, to replace inaccessible documents with accessible documents
- Collaborate with MIDAS team to implement assessments
Courses not initially selected due to resource limitations will be retained on a waiting list in the event additional funding can be acquired.
- Instructors sign up and select courses for service.
- MIDAS consultants advise instructors about document conversion procedures.
- Instructors deposit relevant documents for remediation in MIDAS repository.
- MIDAS team downloads relevant documents and converts to accessible formats.
- MIDAS team uploads revised documents to MIDAS repository and notify the instructor.
- The instructor replaces inaccessible course documents with accessible course documents.
- MIDAS confirms the accessibility of course materials and notifies CTLT to process stipend.
- Participating faculty teach courses and coordinate with MIDAS team to assess students' perceptions of accessible materials.
Collaborators are the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology (CTLT) and Robert E. Kennedy Library (REKL). Financial support is provided through an Affordable Learning Solutions grant from the Chancellor’s Office managed through Kennedy Library.