TFA Presentations at 2023 Accessing Higher Ground

TFA presented at the 26th annual Accessing Higher Ground (AHG) conference in Denver, Colorado. Team members presented with partners on three important topics in higher education:

Solving Accessibility Problems in Virtual Lab Environments

Presenters: Crista Earl (Tech for All), Dr. Dustin Politica (Macmillan Learning), and Rachel Comerford (Macmillan Learning)
In 2018 a collaborative team of content experts, educators, accessibility experts, and software developers began a project to build a web-based environment for chemistry and biology lab simulations. Macmillan Learning and its partners incorporated accessibility principles and approaches into the development from the beginning to ensure all students can utilize the tool and complete virtual experiments. We examine challenges and solutions to making a highly visual and dynamic web app accessible.

Tactical Use of the Vendor Accessibility Process: From High-Impact to Demo

Presenters: Leon McNaught (Cal State LA) and Sue Cullen (Tech for All)
This is a discussion of alternatives to lengthy reviews of low-quality Accessibility Conformance Reports (ACRs). Pivot from poor documentation and shift the onus to vendors to demonstrate the functionality of their products for individuals with disabilities. Timely leverage of this tactic resets the accessibility discussion and avoids wasting precious time and resources. Use the information obtained from this process (whether positive or negative) to guide favorable outcomes and avoid the quagmire of unknowingly purchasing inaccessible products.

Making Chemistry Engaging and Accessible with Digital Education

Presenters: Jessica A. Martin, Ph.D. (ACS Publications) and Crista Earl (Tech for All)
ACS Publications discussed the work they have done over the last three years in collaboration with Tech for All to make engaging, pedagogically sound, and accessible digital courses to support the chemistry curriculum in higher education. In this talk, we discuss overcoming three challenges in particular: hot spot exercises, matching activities, and accurate voice over.