DRES Hosts Accessibility Awareness Day
About 100 people turned out for the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services’ celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 23. DRES offered hands-on workshops, tours, exhibits and demonstrations of accessible technologies throughout the day, providing attendees with the opportunity to connect with others who are interested in accessibility in the digital age and to learn about resources for making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.
Workshops addressed such topics as the accessibility features of iOS devices, creating accessible Word documents and websites, captioning videos, and creating effective audio descriptions.
During the DRES Open House, visitors were able to observe demonstrations of assistive technologies such as Kurzwell 3000, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and the JAWS screen reader, and visit the text conversion services lab and wheelchair athletics training facility.
Dr. Pat Malik, director of DRES, said one of the unit’s goals is to reach out to the campus and community to educate colleagues about the challenges people with disabilities face, and how those challenges can be addressed.
“Our campus is known for its pioneering work with physical access, yet there is much work to be done with digital and information technology accessibility,” she said. “ If we are to truly be an inclusive campus we need to be more intentional about building access into our web sites, course materials, and personal devices so that assistive technology can be used successfully by those with disabilities.” DRES seeks to provide members of the campus community with the knowledge and skills needed to be part of the solution. Events such as Global Accessibility Awareness Day, she said, is one way of engaging the community and continuing the conversation.