5 Guidelines for Accessibility Heroes
We. Are recording. Great. Hi, everyone, um. I'm. Janet, Peters I'm a new person with Cass I'm a technical, assistant specialist. With the new site Center which will work closely with a m-- and. Today. I'll be moderating session, just introducing, it and helping, with technical, support with Leslie who you heard and start the recording. This. Session is being live, captions, so if you want captioning, you, can hit the CC button on the bottom of the zoom, menu on your screen, and the shout out to Mike who is doing an excellent job with the captioning, for. Us, the. Slides will be available on, their website unless they will put that link into. The chat window, aim. Hero and. So you can have. Access to those slides as well. As the. Session. Is being recorded so. You will have an archived version of, that and it will be emailed to you as soon as that's available. Louise. Can you go to the next slide so. If. You are a. Twitter. Person, we. Have the aim Center, Twitter. Handle up there which is a the, @ symbol aim. On capital, underscore. Center, and our, hashtag, is aim for, all and we love tweets, so tweet, out with information, on that. Louise. And Cynthia, both mentioned that this is an interactive session, so, the. Chat is available at the bottom on that on. Your zoom menu so, you can chat to panelists. Or to, all of the aim, attendees. And share, your expertise, as well as. Any, questions, you might have and, Leslie. And I will be moderating, the chat so, we'll be looking for your questions and. Participation. There and we'll if you have a question we'll sure that that gets, answered. As you go. Next. Licenese and. So. Before, we officially start. The, content. Part of the session, we. Wanted to learn a little bit about you it sounded from the intro like Cynthia. Lewis and. Lesley and everybody known one, of the participants, and I'm looking. Forward to getting to know you but if you want to put some information, about yourself in the chat window that would be great some you know your, job title where you're from, your. Purpose in or. Interest, in this webinar your, role and. Then, since the title is superhero. Put. In. Superhero. And. We'll give you a second to chat in that as we turn it over to Cynthia when we start, the presentation. Great. Thank You Janet, and we're, really excited to have Janet join us from, Great. Lakes region. She, was the worked. Very closely with Great Lakes ata so we're. Really thrilled to have Janet join us I'm at, caste, so. As you as you're all entering, your favorite superhero, we're. Going to be, acknowledging. All the hard work that all of you do in, your settings, you, are really the the heroes of this work I, don't know about you Lewis but my I'd say my favorite superhero. Has to be Hulk I did, love Hulk. So. I I, look forward to hearing not only what people's roles are what your job descriptions, but you're from why, you're here but also your, favorite superhero, because we really want to be inspired today. Including. Accessibility in, your procurement, processes is. A challenge, but, it's so important. And your. Staff students. Community will. Really appreciate it actually will advance learning, and communication. And job, performance for everybody. It's a really important topic, today, I'm Cynthia curry I'm the director of the, National Center on accessible educational. Materials it's. My pleasure to. Be here with my colleague, Louise, and. This is Louise Paris I'm a technical assistant specialist, with a national aim Center a cast and being. A techie my, favorite, superhero is Batman, because I always thought all those things he had in his tool belt were really cool and it's, an eighteen person, that's the way I see myself just having a tool kit of different. Supports that I can provide depending, on the need. I guess. MacGyver, doesn't count as a superhero huh. All. Right and, I'm actually I'm, in a my background. Here. Physically. I met the library at the University of Oregon I'm here for a meeting this week so. Beautiful. Out, here in Oregon. So I'm in a unusual. Spot but happy to I'm happy, I was able to fit, this webinar in this. Presentation, is based on an article that the aim Center published, last year it's. Called five things educators, can do to buy accessible. It's available in two formats when you download that digital handout that, Leslie is providing. The link to in the chat as well as the PowerPoint. Presentation, today in that, digital handout, you will find a link to the page of the aim Center website where you can download this article it's available. In two accessible, formats in PDF, and an ePub our. Accessibility, hero lewis, whip. Those up for us so thank you Thank You Louise, so if you want to dig a little bit more into, the topic of of, accessibility. And guidelines. Check. Out that page as well as the publication, the. Objectives, for today we.
Know That this is we, are not going to solve, everybody's, accessibility. And procurement, challenges. In the next hour we. Hope to get you off on a conversation, as well as to give you some resources. And. A community, here to begin talking with about with these issues as well as to know that the, aim Center is, here for continued support, so. What. We hope you'll be able to do by the end of this webinar is to define accessibility. Accessibility. That 11:00 in between the a.m. oh why is because, there are 11 letters between the a and the Y in accessibility, so you'll see that reference throughout the webinar when you see a 11 Y it, means accessibility. So, be able to define it give at least one example of how it applies to educational, materials, and technologies, and that is if this technology, if this topic, is is completely new to you, recommend. Five guidelines for procuring accessible, materials, and technologies, because, we have five ways to help support that in your systems and then, to describe one personal, first action step, that. You can take to include accessibility, the next, time your district, you're you know versity your agency, makes a purchase so, let's, talk a little bit about what we mean by. Accessibility. Let's, start with your perception from. From. Your setting, what. Does accessibility mean. It. Can mean different things and, oftentimes. We, assume that people come to our to. Our trainings. Whether it's a webinar presentation. With, a common, definition of accessibility or not not, may be. Exactly. The same definition, of accessibility that the aim Center may have but. That it's in the same context. And sometimes we find that accessibility. Actually, means something different to, somebody who's come two to. One of our webinars or presentations. And of, course we, love to steal good ideas, so if you have if. You have a definition, of accessibility. That's. Unique, that's. New that's fresh that everybody gives, everybody a new perspective on accessibility, we'd, love to have the opportunity to capture that so. We're. Going to keep. You. Keep a record, of. These as as. Well so. Darlene. Has. Entered, into the chat that accessibility, means, allowing all to participate. David. A means for all to be able to experience, something. So. I see the word all in, both of these in. Both. Of these definitions, the.
Ability To participate to, experience. To be. Looking. For equal access hi crystal. These. Are all great answers John. Says content, that can be used by all people, so. Again that word keeps coming through using all assistive, technologies, and. We're. Not going to steal these we're going to respectfully, borrow them. Yes. That's what we always do and that what we do for each other to. Inaccessible. To noble, people. Interesting. That is a fresh take on accessibility, thanks for that Erin, okay. So keep those keep those coming keep, those coming in. And. We're gonna move. To some, of the definitions that, we have, some. Ways that we've defined accessibility. At the aimed Center, to help scaffold, the, the definition, so, our. Friends, at sita at the state education Technology. Directors. Association in. They're navigating the digital shift document. From 2017. They. Made a distinction, between what. Can commonly, be confused. As accessibility. In terms of the aim Center's mission and many of your. Missions with. Meaning. Availability. So. The distinction that Sita has is that there's equity of access which. Means that, that the technology, is available that, the broadband, is available, and then there's accessibility. For all students, meaning that all students, are able to participate, they're, able to experience, they're able to be independent make, progress, in. The in the curriculum so, accessibility being part of that procurement decision-making. Process, when, something, is being developed if something's being created, across. All the different ways that materials, and technologies, are provided, to students that is provided, in an accessible format for, them and then. There's also a definition, from the US Department of Education. This, is from the office for civil, rights it's. Not the most friendly, of, definitions, but we like it because it sets a bar and when, you break the definition. Down into, its parts it really makes a lot of sense and can serve as a framework as, as. As your team's as, whether. It's a procurement team a student, team a curriculum. Team as you're trying to if. You're trying to interpret what accessibility means this, can be a really helpful guideline. You can even break up each of these parts into cards and haven't used them as conversation, pieces when you're talking about accessibility. So. The u.s. part of Education office for civil rights, defines. Accessibility. As meaning that a person with a disability can, acquire the same information, engage, in the same interactions and. Enjoy. The same services, in an equally, effective equally. Integrated manner, and with substantially. Equivalent ease of use as a person, without a disability so. That's a really high bar but, that's really what we're talking about right we're talking about students. Being able to participate. In a timely manner at the same time as their, peers so we need to make sure that the materials, and technologies, facilitate, that doesn't, mean that every student has the same thing, but. They need to have access at, the same time and it needs to be equally. Integrated and, substantially. End up substantial. Equivalent. Use, what. This means for materials and technologies. Is. To remember. That there are two parts to to. This equation that, there's the material, that needs to be accessible the material that's the information or the content, that's provided, to. Students. That needs to be that. Needs to be designed or enhanced, in a way that makes them usable by the widest, possible range of learners regardless, of the format so whether the materials, print digital, graphical, audio video it can be accessible to the student but unless the delivery. System the technology, that, provides that, material, to the student is accessible, then, it doesn't matter that that you've gone out of your way to ensure, that that material is accessible for the student they need to have a technology, or a delivery system whether it's a learning management system whether. It's the e-book whether it's a video player but. That technology, needs. To deliver that accessible, material, to the student so the the technology, when. It's accessible, its usable by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities as, I, either directly, usable without assistive, technology, or usable with it so. Just because something needs to be adapted doesn't. Mean that it's not accessible, it means, that it is accessible because it's flexible its adaptable, for students who use various.
Assistive Technologies. So. The way this looks in a sort of a, very. Basic product. That you might purchase is to think about, the. Material, and Technology accessibility. Harmony. Would, be that, there's, a student who is reading, an accessible, website. On a tablet, and, that. Tablet, has all the features built into it that support, all the elements, and accessible features of that accessible. Website, so, the. Screen reader can navigate, that website, that, text-to-speech. Can, be activated on that website that the, the display can be customized, for the student that if the student uses a Bluetooth, Bluetooth. Refreshable, I'll display that, that. The technology, facilitates. That that. The technology, supports closed captioning, and video description, so it's, both the material, that needs to be accessible as well as the as, well as the technology, in this case that would be a tablet, but, it could be a learning management system it, could be a video player could be an e-book player both. Both, needs to be considered in the procurement process and when, it comes to assistive. Technology, being usable with or the, technology, being usable with or without assistive, technology, here's, an example there's, a link to this to, this 80 device in the digital handout but, it's a pressure sensor, switch there's, a young girl who's sitting at a table and she has a, three. Button switch on her forearm, and it's, connected, through bluetooth to, a tablet, that's playing a video and, because. This, particular student, cannot. Use the tablet, through traditional. Ways of swiping, or tapping, that. Pressure. Sensor switch actually. Simulates. That, tapping. The. Swiping. For. For. Interacting. With that tablet so, because. That, student can access the tablet with our assistive technology, it's, equally integrated it's equally effective, and, you. May think that that's not some of, substantial. Equivalence. Of use but for the student who's proficient with that with that technology. It. Functionally. Is. So. Lois, I think you're going to move us over to the Y of accessibility. Absolutely. So we've just explore the what of accessibility, and I'm gonna spend a little bit of time here exploring, the Y so. We think about the Y we. Need to consider not, only the technical aspects, of accessibility but also the human and practical, ones as well so. Let's begin by just thinking about the, some of the legal requirements, and on. The screen we have a listing, of some of the laws, that come into play when we consider accessibility. Now. This gives me a chance to just pause for a second and remind you that if, you want to learn more about any of these legal, requirements, our, website, at the aim center, of the AEM, doc a store and Leslie will post that, in, the chat has a really, robust search feature so you can do a search for any of these, terms. And you'll be able to get additional information. So. The first legal requirement, is ID, EA the. Individuals, with Disabilities, Education Act, of 2004. And this. Is the nation's special education, law and in, fact this, is a law that dates back to the mid-70s, when. It was first enacted and then it's been, revised. Or. Reauthorized. A number of times with the latest one taking, place in 2004. So, this is how students, with disabilities, receive services, in a k-12 setting, and. The goal is really to provide all eligible, students with disabilities, with a free and appropriate public.
Education, And. One. Of the ways that that's done is through the implementation, of an individualized, education. Program. Now. The next two laws that are mentioned. On this slide they're, a little bit broader because. Those civil there are civil rights laws and so, that's the Americans, with Disabilities, Act or ADA, a and, section. 504, of the Rehabilitation. Act of 1973, and, those. Extend, beyond K 12 and also covers students in higher education. Institutions. So, the Americans, with Disabilities, Act, that. Covers, places. Of public accommodation. It, also has some. Requirements for employment and ensuring. That individuals with disabilities have equal access, to opportunities, in employment and then. One of the titles also covers, public. Entities. And, that includes local and state government, and that's, where public, schools are also included. And then, section 504, of the Rehabilitation. Act prohibits. Discrimination. In any, program, that receives federal funding, the. Final one here section, 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. That's. A little bit more specific, and it, addresses the accessibility. Of information and. Communication. Technology. That's. In use by the federal, agencies. However. Because. The federal government plays such a big role in our economy. Section. 508. For all intents and purposes our, national accessibility. Law and so. That covers things like websites covers, documents. Covers. Software, that, again is in use by the federal, government, when. It interacts, with the general public. So. Again those are some of the legal requirements. And, especially. With section 508 there's some technical requirements. As well but, it's also important, to consider the human or practical. Aspect of accessibility, and, so, on our website we have a section called aim in action and I. Just, want to share a couple of stories from that section, and you can learn more on the website, the, first one is a student with a visual impairment. Her name is. Yuna. And, the. Story really addresses. How she was, able to make, the transition from. K12, to, become a first year student at Harvard University. And. It talks about the role of assistive, technology in her life and some. Of the important, skills that allow her to be successful such. As self-determination. And. Really. Learning about herself, as a learner and what she needed to be successful, whether it was large. Print or Braille. Number. Of different accommodations, that she was able to take advantage of, and then, the second story is of a young girl earner named. Bailey and in. Middle school at, first they did one of the challenges, that Bailey had had. To do with behavior but. Then once a comprehensive, intervention. Was put in place. Some. Additional, challenges related, to literacy were discovered, and so. The story on our website really, goes through Bailey's. Kind of progression, as, he learned how to use assistive, technology, and aim and really. Became successful, to the point that by the time he reached high school he. Was able to receive an award in, history, so, basically. With the help of aim and assistive technology we. Were able to leverage his skills and his strengths, so that he could be successful so, I encourage you to check out both of these stories because, they really place accessibility. In context, in. A human context. And so. Now what we're gonna do this, is what you came for this is the the. The. Big part of this webinar is the five ways that you're. All going to become an accessibility, hero, and, in fact you all already. Are accessibility, heroes, we're just going to give you some more superpowers, if you will. So. Number. One here, is really, to make, accessibility, a requirement. Don't. Leave it to chance but be explicit, about it be explicit, about asking, for it and, consider. Accessibility, assistance. Something. That is considered not just sometimes. Not. Just for certain materials, and technologies, and, not. Just for certain students, and so. Cynthia already mentioned, sort of that synergy. Or harmony, that needs to exist between the materials, and the technologies, and so. We need to consider that as well and making sure that we're mindful of interoperability. And. Then the other thing is that. Considering. Accessibility, in the context, of Universal, Design for Learning, so. The aim Center, is part of cast and a cast there's been a lot of work done on Universal, Design for Learning and so, accessibility, is just, one component of Universal, Design for Learning so we like to say that accessibility. Is essential, but not sufficient. And, a, friend of ours Joanie, Decker she says that excessively, it's like the welcome mat of UDL, it's.
We. Have to remove those barriers we, have to put in place the conditions so that learners can then be. Able to access the rest of the Universal, Design for Learning curriculum. So. We wanted to learn a little bit from you so here's a question that you can respond. To in the chat where. Should accessibility. Be required, so. Think, about where, within your curriculum, materials. And technologies. Procurement. System might accessibility, be made of requirement, so I'll give you a second. To. Respond. To this prompt, in the chat. So. Sophia, everywhere, arlene. Says. Everywhere, as well I, like. How you're thinking. Crystal. Says initially, it should be the first thought. Hillary. Says everywhere as well. Alright. So I think we're all on the same page here so. Of, course the best answer is everywhere, but, here are some specific. Places where it might be considered we, want to make sure that we're thinking in. Terms of the system as a whole so, we want to make sure that we include accessibility, as a requirement in our policies, in, our guidelines and then. As we look to specific, parts of the curriculum, we, want to make sure that, rubrics, are. Accessible, and, the. Materials, the technologies, that are part of the curriculum and then finally, very important, the, assessments, need to be accessible, because that's often where we get the speed bumps that, hold our students with disabilities, back, so. We want to make sure again the best answer is everywhere, but these are some specific, places where you can address accessibility. In a more, explicit way. All. Right so I'll turn it over to you Cynthia from number two okay. Great so number, one is. To make. Make. Accessibility, a requirement. That it's that, it's a stance. It's. Not uncommon for for. Us that the aim Center to get a call, from somebody or get a question about well does it you know could we just require it for certain things like our learning management system. Or but, you really can't it has to be it, has to be a consideration for, everything. And to. Do that you need to communicate. What you mean by accessibility.
Across, All of, the areas, where. You're going to be procuring, or purchasing, or selecting, materials. And technologies, which as you all have have, described is everywhere, so where, wherever. Those places are that you're communicating and, holding, requirement. As, accessibility. As a stance you need to communicate what you mean by by. Accessibility. So. Communicating, those accessibility, standards, is really important, the, two that, are most important, that, are sort of the the universal, communication, of accessibility, for standards are section, 508 of the Rehabilitation. Which, Lewis just, a few moments ago described. That. Is section 508 is the law that the, federal, government is. Required, to follow and of. Course if you receive federal funding, there. Is related. Requirements, on making sure that what you procure, what you create, for the public is going to be accessible so obviously, State University's. K-12. Schools. Receive. Those those those, funds. From the federal government so section 508 is, a really. Prominent. Technical. Standards. For accessibility, for. Both technology, and materials. The. Web content accessibility guidelines. Or what CAG those. Are created by the World Wide Web Consortium. They. Are actually. Connected. To section 508 so section 508 references. The web content accessibility guidelines. And there. Are three levels to to, walk AG there's a double-a. And triple-a. Double-a. Is is. Recommended. There's, a lot, of history and, background on that but you can find on our website, it's, not that, triple-a. Is. Isn't. Something that you could require but level AAA is. Is, recommended, insufficient. AAA. Triple A in, court includes some standards, that go beyond some of the most typical types, of technologies, and materials that your school University, would, be purchasing, so. Communicating. Section 508 and the web content accessibility guidelines. As your standards, is is, critical, of course, those. Are very technical standards. Not something, that typical, educators, or. Our Lewis or I actually go about talking about on a daily basis, so, a way, that you can translate, those standards, is through the poor model the. Poor model is for, perceivable.
Operable Understandable. And. Robust. There's. A resource on our website this, particular, image that, you that's being, displayed on the screen actually comes from the cast designers, who helped us with that section of our web site on poor this. Particular, image is for the perceivable. Principle. It shows that there's, that, content, can be conveyed, in different, ways, so. It's the same content, but in this particular image it's conveying that that, content can be communicated. Well. It. Can be communicated through. Changing, the display on a screen. It could be communicated, through closed captioning. It can be communicated through, including alternative, text on images, for, individuals. Who can't see that image so perceivable. Meaning that that, content. Can be conveyed in various, ways to make sure that regardless of the of a sense that somebody is using their sensory skills they're, able to access that content. Operable. Is, meaning, that users. Can interact with, the content using, a variety of tools their assistive technologies, that going back to that pressure switch that, is an example of an operable the. Operable, principle. Understandable. Means that the content, is. Understood, and. Clearly. So plain language would be an example of understandable. And that the that the user has a predictable, experience, and then, finally robust, means. That your content, works well with both current, and future technologies. So making sure that that accessibility. Is. Robust, through. Accessibility. Checks is an example of the robust principle, as well as using metadata, for example, but. Across all. Your materials, and technologies. The. Poor principle can be really helpful and that, resource, is on our website and you can access it through the digital handout, for today's webinar. 3. In. Our roadmap for, becoming an accessibility, hero, is to. Again be really, explicit, and include accessibility. And those requirements, that, Cynthia was mentioning, in your. Contracts, and your purchase orders. So, again I think some. Of you in the chat mentioned. From the beginning. And. Everywhere, so we agree with that it, should be something that is approached in a proactive way and one, way to be proactive is to make, sure that accessibility is considered in procurement, so. Whenever you are considering materials. And. Technologies. Are you going to purchase or your own your vet, in the case of open, educational, resources, that, you're including an accessibility, in those contracts, and purchase orders and, I. Have. A question for you a prompt, here so our third. Question for, T for you today is what would you include in contract, language. And. We've. Divided this into two, types of materials print materials, and digital, materials, and there's. A couple of hints for. You to consider here so with, print materials, how can print be provided, to students with sensory, cognitive, or, physical disabilities. And then. For digital material, what, accessibility, standards, do you expect from vendors so. I'll give you just a couple of minutes to respond in the chat and, we'll see what you. Suggest. Or what your comments are so. Bob says, provide, a vpad an accessibility. Statement. Those. Are great tools to have, the. Accessibility, statement, is a great way to communicate what, standards. You. Are you. Know looking, for, Bob's. Already is an, accessibility hero, he jumped right to number four. He's. He's got additional superpowers, I have been around. Anybody. Else would like to. Add. Your thoughts insights. So. What are some of the things you would include in contract, language. John. Says, make the vendor ensure that the content would work with will, work with all 80 and if not fix, up their expense. Great. Suggestion, there John. So. John was it was that something that would. Happen after, a purchase is made so say, a district purchases. Purchases. Of the technology, and later discovers, that a student can access it with their assistive technology, so this would be something, that you would requirement. That you would go back to the vendor would, have been written in the contract that they would fix it that. Would. Be the sort of the the process. Said, once it's discovered, that the technology. Isn't compatible with assistive technology, that they. That. They make that corrective. Action. And. I and I think John is hinting, a challenge. That is becoming, more and more than norm as. You know the technology is evolving very quickly and, so. The frequency, of updates is also, on the uptick and so, we want to make sure that as things are updated that they remain, compatible. So. It's not a one and done kind of thing anytime there's an update a significant.
Update Then you need to go back and make sure that things still work. Mark. Hey great to see you all here mark so, mark has a is. Sharing in the chat remediation. Timeframes, by vendor if and when accessibility, czar this cover within the application, and tool. And. Then Hillary also had a great, comment that, it should be an Africa, so, we want a for, thought over, afterthought. So. Definitely if we address some of these issues during, the initial, procurement, and, will be in even, better shape going. Forward and. And. Tom added, the, vendor should provide Word, files of instructional materials that can be reformatted, by the student, for their own specific need, so, that's a good you know that that's a interesting. Idea something that we can run into with that issue is a lot of obviously, publishers, don't want to provide Word files, of their materials, because they don't want that, you know they're concerned about copyright, but, there are when, it comes to that particular, challenge. Around students. Having issues. Around access to print materials. That first, part. A around, you know what can you require publishers, in your in your contract language for print materials, you, are in k-12 making, sure that you have language. Related to making sure that the publisher. Deposits. A nihilist, source file of that of, that material in the naima k-- and then, that material can be reformatted. In ways that the qualifying, student, can use such. As a word, a word format, or in any other way that a, qualifying. Student, can get that material, if it's an Imus file then they have, a lot. Of flexibility. And typically the Naima's file will allow students who use varied assistive technologies, to access, the. Otherwise print material. So. Make sure nine is language is in your contracts. Absolutely. And with. Regard to digital I think one of the misconceptions that. We still run into out there is that if it's digital its accessible, and that's. Not always the case so we want to make sure that it's worn both born digital and born accessible so. Accessibility, is consider from the beginning and again part of that is following those. Standards, when, you. Know materials, and resources are, being designed or developed. Alright. Anybody else with any additional. Thoughts on just keep those coming we're going to continue moving. Forward here just in the interest of time so. We do have some resources to, get, you started with, regard, to sample. Language that, you can use in your contracts, and purchase orders so, you can find that on our aim Center website it's. Also going to be shared in the chat I mean, just recently, because. We used to have just, some sample, language but, we've also created a more comprehensive resource. In, its best practice, best. Practices, for a procurement, language for. Guidelines and so, you will find that on our website as well actually they're right next to each other so if you find one of these you'll find the other one as well but. That's just really to give you a head start in, terms of what are some of the standards, and how you can address them in your procurement. Language. Great. Thanks Louise and that the. The. Best practice is, for communicating. Digital. Accessibility requirement. That's also in the, digital hand up for today as well but once you go to our website. Once. You once, you get there you'll be exploring a lot of different, resources regarding. Requirements. Around the acquisition, of aim under navigating. Aim and acquisition. Is where you will find all the information around, procurement.
Strategies. Number. Four as, the. So this was a nice segue from bonds. That the is, that you should ask the vendor for of veep at the, vpad is a voluntary. Product accessibility, template. So if that's exactly, what it is it's just a blank template. But. Once, that template, is completed. By a vendor, its then known as an accessibility, compliance, report. Or ACR. Lewis, and I are really trying hard to refer, to the completed vpad as an ACR, because, that's. What you want you want you're actually asking for that. Accessibility. Compliance report. Want, the completed, vpad but, typically. When somebody says you know I have a V pad I'm requesting a V pad we assume that the vendor is going to complete it out complete, that and provide you with the full, report, so. The V pad is. A, template. That is, really. Helpful because it, outlines, section. 508. It. Measures section 508, compliance. It's, helpful because it applies a standard, format for all vendors so if you request, a V pad or an, accessibility, compliance report. From, vendors you're, going to get you should get the same report, from each vendor, so that you can do a comparison. That. Is if the vendor is completing it so I'm jumping over to the limitations, but the. Idea about, having this standard format, is that every, vendor would provide you the same, the same format of a report as opposed. To vendors. Giving you their own design of what an accessibility. Report. Should look like so this is a standard format, follows. The section 508 guidelines. It. Can serve as an entry point for your conversation, with vendors a lot of times people don't know what to do with the v pad it is very technical but. It can be an entry point to, that conversation, with the vendor you can find, some, information in the video ad around what, does the product support what doesn't it support, one. Use once you start asking questions of the vendor about their, B pad you, want to make sure that they can communicate with you you want to make sure that they can engage in the discussion, even if you don't know a lot about what that V pad is telling you as soon as you engage in a discussion that. Vendors should be able to explain to you how their product, meets or doesn't meet particular. Standards. And what. Are the what. Are the strategies, what. Are the ways that they compensate, for any standards, that they that, they may be not, meeting. And. Then. Finally, it provides documentation for, future reference so for example with, John's comment, about holding, the holding. A vendor accountable. If their, products, doesn't doesn't. Support, a particular assistive, technology, you can go back to that v pad as a record, as documentation, of what the vendor said at the time that. You purchased, the the, technology, or the material, to determine, whether or not they have fallen out of their, agreement, with you so. Although this is very technical. Report. That you receive, one. Of our best recommendations, for the benefit of it is to engage in a conversation with, the vendor do they have somebody within their company, that can talk to you about accessibility. And do. They sound like they know what they're talking about and. You shouldn't have something you hopefully, will have somebody on staff it's not you it's somebody else at your institution, or your agency who can have a. Knowledgeable. Conversation, with somebody at a company, who knows about the accessibility, of their product, the, limitations, of course of a V pad is that's a very technical language. Very. Difficult, if you are not a developer. To, interpret. Some of the language. And the requirements, within the V pad, and. It's, a voluntary, report, so the vendor is, independently. Saying, whether. Or not they are in. Compliance, or to what extent they meet the accessibility standards within, section 508, so, there could be an act in accuracies, and there could be outdated. Information. So knowing. All of those things however can give you some some, power it. Can give, you some leverage with. The with. The vendor how how, to what extent is there V at the, accessibility compliance report.
Of High, quality that, in and of itself is one piece, of information that, can be helpful it is not the beginning it is not the end it's one piece of the of. The consideration, which is why we have it under five ways to. Support procurement, we would never recommend that somebody used the V patters documentation, of the accessibility, of a, material, or technology. But. It is a it is a tool that's part of the process and at, the aim Center we have a resource it's called understanding. The V path that. Has a a. Fo. V. Pad that, walks you through what. To expect, with in the V Pat what is the what are indicators, of high quality complete. And up-to-date. Vpats. Or. Accessibility, compliance reports. So, that understanding. The V pad section of our website can be really helpful a. Recommendation. Would be if you have a procurement, team at your at, your school or at your university, you know sit down with that section. Of the of the website, walk. Through it have conversation. Has, examples, there, are notes that sort of call out what, parts of a V Pat you should be looking for tries. To translate some of the technical language. So. Going through that process with. That part of our website and then looking at some accessibility, compliance reports. That you're getting from vendors can be really helpful. Can't. Say that's still not going to be a, challenge, to interpret, a V Pat but again if you are thinking about it as a, particular. Piece of the accessibility. Procurement, puzzle, really. Needs to be really needs to be a part of that. Work and, we. Have to, the rescue we, have a webinar coming up on June 11th, on this, very topic using the V Pat and purchasing, decisions, and. Luis and our. Software. Engineer at castle, in McCormack will be delivering that webinar it's Tuesday June 11th 2 to 3 p.m. East, that registration, is currently, will will be available, on. Our website and of course if you're signed up for our notifications. You'll get that by email, and. To, get the most of that webinar we are going to try to implement sort, of a flip model so. We would ask if you register, to first review that resource, that Cynthia just mentioned the understanding, the vpad page. On our website and then come to the webinar, with your questions, and concerns and, then that will form a, big, part of our webinar is being able to address some of those issues that you bring up I just, want to highlight like. John said in the chat the presence of a beat that does not ensure accessibility. So. Again it's Cynthia I want to highlight this again it's just one part of the process it's number four on our list of five different. Things that, you can do to be an accessibility, hero, and. Just remember that the vpad also depends, on the skill of the person filling, it out and it's, not always somebody, on the accessibility teams, a lot of times it may be somebody on the marketing team and so, they may be familiar with some of the features of the software or the tool that they're you. Know filling out that BiPAP for but they may not be an accessibility, expert, so. Again. Approach the VPI with caution and consider it's just one component of the process as Cynthia said so, we would love to have you join us for the webinar next, week we'll definitely go into the vpad in more, detail, and. You were gonna say something Cynthia, I was, just going to say that just by coincidence I was looking at a V Pat this morning, just. It just came up in context, of a meeting that I'm attending here. And so. Somebody, was referencing. A particular, technology it is well. Highly. Used across the across. The country, in schools and I hadn't looked at the V Pat for, that product I think actually last time I looked this product, up there was no fee Pat for it so I looked.
It Up and, the V Pat was, that that the company, put on its website was, not the most recent I didn't even recognize it was a very slimmed. Down version of. The. Registered, trademark B. Pat, and. It. Also claimed. That it supported, all of the standards, and that's very, unusual that a product would do that, because. Accessibility. The question is excessive, to whom and. There every, product probably, will have some caveats around, what. It does support and what it doesn't support and somebody at the company should be able to have a. Knowledgeable. Conversation, with you about that this, particular vpad, I do. Not trust and, just, knowing. Just. If, you just looked at the information that's on our website around, what makes a high quality vpad. And then you compare it to something. That you get from a vendor, just. Gives you a piece of information about, the extent to which the company is knowledgeable, about accessibility. And. Again. Just. Stressing, that we. We, recommend, the use of vpats with all of these caveats and cautions. Absolutely. And so that brings us to number five, and this is where we engage superheroes. In training, if. You, will so, it's making sure that you, engage your end users who are beneficiaries, of. The. Materials, and technologies, that you're procuring, or vetting, and making. Sure that you do some end-user testing, so. That that's really where the rubber hits the road right that's what we determined that something actually is useful, to support learning so. There are some considerations where, you engage learners as product testers, I'm. Sure there's many others but these are just three that we want, to highlight so. The first is be, careful in who you choose to be the tester, make. Sure that you choose somebody who's at least of, moderate, or proficient, level with, the use of 80 because. What we want to make sure is that some, of the issues that are discovered, are actual, accessibility. Challenges. And don't have to do with the level of understanding that. The person has of how the eighty functions. So. We don't want those two things to get confused, and so we want somebody who at, least has a good, understanding of, how to navigate with, a screen reader if that's what they're using or how to navigate with a keyboard, only, in, a way that is you. Know more, than just that a novice, level the. Other thing is you want to give students an authentic, task and. Under the typical, conditions, where the materials, for technologies, would be use so. Think about what are some of the tasks, that they would have to complete so in a course that could. You know providing. Responses. To a quiz or even before that logging. In setting. Up an account. You. Know accessing, some, of the discussion, board questions. And so on so, you want to make sure there's these the, testing, very, closely mirrors, the, things that learners are going to be expected, to do and then. The final thing that you can do and is. Observe carefully and ask questions, and as. An instructional, designer there. Are some sort, of talk allowed protocols. So. Essentially what you do is you have the person go through the tool follow. A given, path through, it so again as I said that could be set, up an account.
Logging. In go to. The discussion, board you know there's different tasks, that you can assign to them and then, I say complete those tasks, they're basically. Speaking. Out loud what they're doing and, so, that can help you identify places. Where they get stuck or, where there's a pain point and that, could be something that you could then address in those conversations, that you have with the vendor or the developer, so, that can be really, insightful is, to engage in those kinds of observations, and those. Kinds of read, are allowed to walk through protocols, so. I'm just wondering if any of you have done this kind of thing in, your environments. And if, you want to share those experiences with, us in the chat. If. Not that's. Fine too, I'm gonna turn it over to Cynthia she's, gonna kind. Of wrap things up a little bit for us here but, we're gonna it looks like we're making really good time so we should have some time for some Q&A from you all. Great. Thanks Luis. I will, just say as people are thinking about if you've, used and. Maybe it wasn't intentionally. Asking. Me students to test, a product for, purchase but perhaps you have had experiences. With students who have. Have. Had, issues with the technology, after, it's been purchased. And what are some of the what are some of the most common. Obstacles. And barriers that some students that some students are experiencing. I. Know that in past conversations I've had with people around this particular recommendation of, using learners as product, testers some, people who had concerns about having elementary, school or middle school or high school students do this work thinking that those kids might not be proficient enough or may not have, the insights, that are necessary, but. I think that they do not, all of them you know one thing that as Louie said that that, a consideration, is to choose moderate to proficient, 80 users, you want to make sure that that, the student has has, experience, using that technology, so that you have a pretty valid and reliable. Observation. Of the extent to which the student had can use that can. Use the the material. In the technology, with their 80 and, the. Guiding the guiding question being our, students, able to use the product in an equally effective and, equally integrated manner was substantially. Equivalent ease of, use so going full, circle back to that definition, from. The office for civil rights which, we know is you. Know has very highly technical legal, language but, we, do like it because. It has that it. Has that high level, bar and it has all those components, we want to make sure that students are able to be independent make, progress, in. The curriculum that they can fully participate so. All that the components, of that definition really. Help to to. Bring that, goal, to. Fruition. Mark. Just had entered, a comment. In the chat that we have you had a chance to read that yes, I did so. What. I mentioned. Or suggest is there they hired a student intern from a neighboring, University, to. Provide guidance and support in testing some wireframes, mock-ups, and internal application for screen reader compatibility.
And Overall. User experience for, for, users with blindness. So, what I what I like about that is that you're, doing this early, in the process right, so as you're developing the wireframes, the mock-ups. The. Earlier, that you do this the better right, so it's much more difficult to, go back and fix things, once, the application or. The tool or the resource, is out there in the wild and it's it's in use so. I love that you're doing that mark just, kind of being proactive. And, just exercising. Some forethought, and involving. You. Know testing, as, early, as possible in, the development, cycle it's really really important. And. I Janet's second of that with a great idea thumbs. Up, anybody. Else want to share additional, insights, related. To this question. And. I'm not saying you shoot I'm, not recommending you do this but I have seen cases where, you. Know the vendor shows up and that's their sort. Of, jazzy. Presentation. And then, unbeknownst to them there are students who are brought in and are. Experienced. A tool and, that. Can be a opening, because that means that that's, like actual, real-world. Experience. It's not something where the vendors has had a chance to can a demonstration. And show you, only the things that work so. That that can be helpful, as well and. Best, practices, guidance that's, in our our. Best practices, for, communicating. Digital, accessibility requirements. Document, you, can provide, this information to vendors as part of the guidance that you give in your procurement. Policy. Is asking. You recommending, to vendors, themselves that, we're, communicating our, accessibility, requirements. And you, could, help to, improve. The accessibility and communicate, the accessibility, of your products, by having, having, testers, of, your products, as part of the design process, so. I, mean we learn we can go back and forth between the consumer, side of procurement, as well as what the product. Developers and publishers can, be doing because a lot of it goes in. Both directions and. John has a really, great idea. He. Says the best that I have seen have been conversations between, and among people at different institutions. To. Ask about their experience for, the product, this. Happens often at the university, level so kind of doing a listening tour, if. There are people that have rolled out of similar, project, or product, or even the same product, and just to, get you, know a variety of different. Feedback. And experiences, that's really helpful and. Hilary, has a comment layer approach for sure. When, you see practical, application, it's so powerful so, sometimes. Mistakes, can lead to our greatest successes of, course yes so you can learn from some of those challenges, and. At least to improve, resources. Down, the road I, also. Find that that's such a great, advice Hilary because so typically, a lot of agents. These schools, universities, they're afraid to take that first step around accessibility because. They're concerned, that there'll be a complaint, lodged, against, them if they go down near, this Avenue of accessibility. And sort of open it up as. A consideration. Which I know is you, know, antithetical. To what, we want to do but I think a lot of people don't want to enter this because they're afraid they're going to make a mistake you, know they would rather you, know not, address, accessibility, because they're afraid if they do they're. Going to they're going to make a mistake or. Once they get started they're they're, concerned about doing something wrong that would put them at a liability but, in, our experience.
One. Positive step leads, to the next and. The more you are candid. And honest and transparent about. Accessibility. That. You are expecting, and requiring, the. Much. Via, the quicker advancements. That you're going to make toward having full accessibility as part of your procurement and you're, going to be teaching vendors, and publishers. A lot, in the process and in fact to, that end you're going to be doing everybody. A favor, k12. Higher at workforce. Because. The more vendors, and developers understand, what accessibility means, and. That it's important, it's a priority for, educational, agencies, the more likely they are to be producing products that are accessible. So. As. We, wrap up the final question is what. Will be your first action, so big or small it matters, it. Doesn't matter you may, think that you're. Sharing this webinar recording, with somebody is. A small, is. A small, matter but it's really not it it's, an indication of taking, sort of a more community. Of. Practice, approach to accessibility in, your setting, you, can just holding a study group around, accessibility. Is. A is a big step and. You. Know the least know what we forgot to include because I'm surprised, we forgot to include, some, content about this because we've been living it for the past three months is the. Aimed pilot. So. The. We should mention that. Any. Pilot, is coming out soon. The aim pilot is a self-assessment. And progress monitoring, tool this, first version of the pilot will be available, will. Be available, to everyone but, the target, audience is school districts, walks. You through the seven quality, indicators, for the provision, of accessible educational. Materials the, link to that is in the digital, handout for this webinar but. It's a tool that includes, these. Five guidelines as, well as more specific, critical components. Self. Assessment, strategies. Districts. Can enter, their data at. Particular, points, of time that measure their measure. The extent to which they're they're meeting the quality, indicator. For. The provision. Of aim again there are seven of those and, they. Can the the tool saves those data and you can go back six, months later and measure your progress toward including accessibility, in, your provision system against. Those seven quality, indicators, over time so there's some educational, pieces within the tool there's a self-assessment, component. As a progress monitoring, component, we're, really excited about it a beta, format is going to be coming out this summer and. We have some some. Aim best practices, states, and districts that we've been working with throughout the course. Of our project, that are going to be giving us some feedback before, we take the next step and release.
It Publicly. Yeah. And if I could just add that one of the strengths, of that tool is that it's gonna take the, language of the quality indicators, and really. Place it in context, so we're gonna have a number of exemplars, that have come from our best practice, cohort. States and so, you'll be able to see what is this quality. Indicator look like in practice, when, it's implemented, at the state or district, level so that's, gonna be I think a really useful tool from. That sense as well and. I know I, think, Mark Nichols if you're still on the, on the webinar, I, you've had some success using, the quality indicators, as something. That drives, accessibility. At, a systemic level and so. If. You want to mention some insights that you've gained the. Chat area. Is all yours there, so. We are just, about wrapping up we have about three minutes left so we're gonna open it up for some. Q&A. But also if you want to share what your first action, will be and again as Cynthia said big. Or small it. Matters, it makes a difference, in the lives of students with disabilities. And. So, let's see what we got and, Louis. In the meantime if you want to just advance to the next to. The next slide I know I know Leslie has put the link to the survey in the chat as, well I believe it has our contact information so as these comments, are coming in about your action, action. Items just, wanted to have that contact information there as well. Yeah. As Mark says in the chat they, have been using the quality indicators, and they be aligning, their initiatives, and projects, to, the indicators, to gain traction. So. That is that's, a great idea. You know once you get in some traction then you can build on that and, sort. Of again. It becomes a mindset it becomes a stance, that you take and so. It leads to wonderful, results. Going forward. All. Right well it's kind, of unusual for, us to usually. Sometimes we're right on time sometimes, where, sometimes. We're a minute or two over but it's not always that we're where we wrap up a minute early so.
Thank. You everyone. For engaging. In this conversation we, acknowledge, that this is not easy and. We, want to be of assistance and, thank. You so much for for being part of the process of being brave. Go. Out and fly. High. Thank. You everyone and there are just a few links, coming through in the chat one. Is a webinar, survey, so that helps us plan for. Additional. Webinars, that we may offer in the future, also. Just a reminder that this is being recorded a recording, will be available on, the same page where you registered, and there. You will also find the slides and the. Digital handout so those are all resources. As somebody John just said they're there he's, looking for his cape, well those. Resources, will be your cape, they will help, you fly higher Superman. You say you were Superman that, was your favorite superhero, so there, you go John there's your cape. So. Thank you so much everybody and we, hope to see you again on a future webinar next, week hopefully to, look, into the B pad in more detail, June, 11th, 2. P.m. Eastern right Louise, that's right, all right we'll see everybody then thanks. Everyone take care.