Digital Accessibility Events & Workshops: Fall 2018

Keynote Talk Recording and Summary Available Here

We are all creators of digital content. It is essential that the documents, websites, readings, and media created by and shared with the community be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. This fall, we invite you to come to a keynote talk and/or hands-on workshops. Come learn how to make your content accessible, and learn how accessible content makes life better for everybody! 

Keynote Talk : Digital Accessibility for an Inclusive Campus

with Kyle Shachmut, Manager of Digital Accessibility at Harvard University and former president of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts

Tuesday, October 30th, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Stirn Auditorium

This event is open to students, staff, and faculty. It is co-organized by the following offices: Diversity and Inclusion, IT, Communications, Accessibility Services, and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Kyle's talk will demonstrate how users with disabilities experience technology in an educational context. He will outline steps faculty, staff, and students can take to ensure that the digital content we create and share is accessible for everyone in the Amherst community. Topics will include considerations around accessible documents, websites, and media used for courses, academic projects, and/or college programs. This talk will be approximately 45 minutes with 15 minutes for Q&A.   

Kyle Shachmut
Kyle Shachmut is the Manager of Digital Accessibility at Harvard University, providing strategic direction to digital accessibility efforts across all of Harvard’s schools. He is the former president of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, and is a doctoral student in higher education at Boston College. During his time at Harvard, he has worked extensively on the accessibility of MOOCs (massive open online courses) offered by HarvardX on the edX platform. 

Kyle speaks frequently on issues related to technology, accessibility, online learning, and higher education. His writing has been featured in The Boston Globe and The Chronicle of Higher Education and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative  

Hands-On Workshops 

Due to limited space, the workshops below are for Amherst faculty and staff only. Students with questions about creating accessible content are welcome to get in touch with IT and we will be happy to provide assistance. 

Digital Accessibility in Mind: Selecting Accessible Products & Services

Friday, November 2nd, 10 - 11 a.m. 

The most impactful practice for ensuring digital accessibility is selecting and vetting accessible technologies during the procurement process. This workshop will walk Amherst faculty and staff through an overview of the IT Accessibility landscape, and will cover what to keep in mind when selecting and procuring new technologies or online services. Come learn some initial steps you can take to address, and assess, the accessibility of technology-based products and services.

With Rob Eveleigh, Five College EIT Accessibility Coordinator. 

Accessible Web Pages & Media

Thursday, November 8th, 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Learn the basic elements of web accessibility and how users of assistive technology access the web. We’ll show you some easy Drupal tips for creating more accessible pages on the Amherst website, and how to assess the accessibility of webpages or services. Attendees will also learn about how to provide accessible video and audio content, as well as social media posts.

With Rob Eveleigh, Five College EIT Accessibility Coordinator, and Asha Kinney, Academic Technology Specialist.

Accessible Documents and Instructional Materials

Tuesday, November 13th, 10 - 11:30 a.m. (This session is currently full, sorry! Please use the sign-up form to let us know if you are interested as we may schedule another session.)

Come learn the basics of what makes a document, reading, or handout accessible to someone who uses text-to-speech or other assistive technology. We will practice creating accessible Word documents, PDF’s, and Powerpoint presentations.

With Asha Kinney, Academic Technology Specialist, and Susan May, IT User Training Specialist.