ITC Accessibility Task Force Update

In fall of 2017, the ITC Board of Directors announced the formation of an Accessibility Task Force in response to the critical need of its member to support accessibility in online learning. A governance structure was formed including a steering committee and three work groups to address important issues.  The ITC sought volunteers for the task force from its membership and received an overwhelming response. Over sixty members participated in the effort. The charge of the task force was to establish a commission of ITC members to develop recommendations and guidelines for implementing Accessibility Initiatives for distance education (online) programs throughout the colleges and universities within the ITC Network.

The three work groups established were Standards & Best Practices, Implementation Strategies, and Awareness & Sharing.  The work groups were each led by co-chairs with regularly established meeting schedules to work on various tasks and discuss topics of interest. Since that time the following work has been completed:

  • eLearning 2018 - Panel of Task Force members was featured during a general session
  • Quick Poll - An Online Accessibility quick poll created through the work of the Sharing and Awareness work group was administered to help identify the status of member institutions’ progress in meeting accessibility requirements and to better understand the resources needed by members.  
  • Webinars - Three webinars were offered including:
    • Embarking on a Journey to Accessibility - Stephanie Shipley and Lori Wendt
    • Make the Move: moving from Reactive to Proactive Accessibility - Jennifer Jones and Glenne’ Whisenhunt
    • Standards and Best Practice - Tamara Dawson
  • eLearning 2019 - Two pre conference workshops offered as well as concurrent sessions.
    • A Hands-On Approach to Accessibility - Lori Wendt & Stephanie Shipley
    • Course Design with Accessibility in Mind - Tamara Dawson
  • Access the Member Commons resources now - The Task Force work groups and Steering Committee worked to develop and collect resources from members to be shared in a members commons.  Content will continue to be added as they become available.
    • Resources include examples of accessibility review checklists, handbooks, training materials and tutorials for creating accessible content, accessibility checking information, guidelines, advocacy materials, results of the member poll and more.

The ITC Board of Directors would like to thank the Steering Committee and Task Forces co-leads and members for their diligent work, volunteer time, and commitment to advance online accessibility through ITC’s membership and beyond.  

ITC Steering Committee

  • Wanda Barker, Co-Chair - Director, Educational Technology Cooperative of Electronic Campus (Southern Regional Education Board) 
  • Fred Lokken - Dean, WebCollege & Academic Support Services (Truckee Meadows Community College)  
  • Kellie Schellenberg - Dean, Distance Education & Academic Technology (Chemeketa Community College)  
  • Loraine Schmitt - Dean of Online Learning (Portland Community College)   
  • Susan Sutton - Director, Center for Teaching Arts & Technology & Distance Education (Roane State Community College)       

Standards and Best Practices Working Group

The goal for this subgroup is to identify accessibility best practices and develop recommended standards.

  • Tamara Dawson, Co-Leader - Instructional Technologist (Southern Nazarene University)
  • Terry Norris, Co-Leader - Director, eLearning (College of Southern Nevada)


Implementation Strategies Working Group  

The goal of this subgroup is to recommend pathways to compliance, to define strategies to build accessibility plans, and to provide methods for educating faculty and development of faculty buy-in.

  • Jennifer Jones, Co-Leader - Distance Learning Director (Alamance Community College)
  • Glenne' Whisenhunt, Co-Leader - Director of Center for Learning and Teaching (Oklahoma City Community College)

Sharing and Awareness Working Group

The goal of this subgroup is to survey ITC members in regard to their institution's accessibility initiatives, disseminate standards to ITC members, and develop a repository of accessibility resources.

  • Stephanie Shipley, Co-Leader - Instructional Design Specialist (Roane State Community College)
  • Lori Wendt, Co-Leader - Online Support Specialist (Parkland College)