Updates from DACCD’s Accessibility Subcommittee

DACCD’s Accessibility Subcommittee raises awareness of the needs of people with disabilities, with the goal of helping to make ISR’s physical and virtual spaces accessible to all people. As issues arise, we partner with other groups within the Institute to work toward accessible solutions.

For example, in 2020, we worked with various ISR programs and departments to improve the accessibility of their emails and e-newsletters. The work involved:

  • Identifying accessible email and newsletter software (Some third-party software just doesn’t have accessibility features built in and can’t be made to do things in an accessible way.)
  • Switching over to better software and learning how to use its accessibility features
  • Providing training in best practices for creating accessible emails, particularly with MailChimp (PDF)

We also continued discussions with ISR’s Computing and Multimedia Technology department about the accessibility problems of the Deltek time reporting software. And we played a key role in bringing about the new (December, 2020) Information Technology Accessibility Policy, which establishes ISR’s commitment to “creating and maintaining an information technology (“IT”) environment, as well as a physical environment, that is comprehensively accessible to all.”

Our 2021 agenda includes:

  • Create a document addressing ISR best practices and commitment to accessibility
  • A “Workplace Accessibility” co-presentation series with ISR Human Resources
  • A presentation on universal design
  • Development and distribution of quick reference cutouts for emails, documents, events, and presentations

For people who wish to learn more general information about digital accessibility or who seek to improve the accessibility of their documents, websites, and social media, we’ve provided a resource list on the DACCD: Accessibility page on the ISR Intranet.

The DACCD Accessibility Subcommittee welcomes new members. Prospective members don’t need to be members of the DACCD nor have any particular expertise in accessibility. Any ISR staff with an interest in learning more about accessibility or a commitment to making ISR spaces more accessible are invited to join us. We meet on the first Monday of the month at 10:45. Contact Wendi Fornoff at wfornoff@umich.edu.