CAARP Plan at SDSU

CSU Addressing Accessibility Requirements Project (CAARP) at SDSU

Executive Vice Chancellor Loren Blanchard’s February 19, 2019 memo to all California State University (CSU) Presidents outlines a number of critical steps which are required as part of an accelerated campus plan regarding accessibility due to Chancellor Tim White by September 6, 2019. 

In preparing the CSU Addressing Accessibility Requirements Project (CAARP) Plan, we prioritize our efforts focusing on goals and success indicators that are below baseline and created a three-year roadmap summarizing the tasks involved for each priority area, actions and resources needed, milestones and deliverables.  Our goal is to move SDSU’s ATI maturity level to a minimal baseline of established or above for all ATI goals by Fiscal Year 2021-2022. 

Our Strategy to Accelerate ATI Implementation at SDSU

We identified five overarching themes to guide our ATI implementation.

  1. The campus must cultivate and promote a culture of inclusive technology and digital information.
  2. The campus must assign clear and visible ownership of accessible technology oversight and support.
  3. The campus must make and sustain investments in staff, tools, and other resources to sustain accessible technology initiatives.
  4. The campus must exercise governance and accountability in meeting accessible technology compliance standards.
  5. The campus must be able to provide supporting evidence in meeting accessible technology compliance standards.

Theme #1: The campus must cultivate and promote a culture of inclusive technology and digital information.

Action Items:

  1. In collaboration with appropriate campus partners, distribute information about inclusive technology in campus-wide communications, create a repository of accessible technology resources, and promote universal design and accessibility topics in student, faculty, and staff orientations.
  2. In collaboration with appropriate campus partners, establish a regular accessible technology training program for employees who design, develop, and support campus websites.
  3. In collaboration with appropriate campus partners, establish a recommended accessible technology training program for employees who create and produce instructional materials and digital content.
  4. Provide stable funding to facilitate regular attendance of relevant staff to industry-leading accessible technology conferences such as the annual event hosted by California State University Northridge (CSUN).

Theme #2: The campus must assign clear and visible ownership of accessible technology oversight and support.

Action Items:

  1. Create a central accessibility site for everything ATI at SDSU including campus commitment, policies and procedures, accessibility standards, communication and training plans, and user support services.
  2. Establish a base-funded, Accessible Technology group consisting of three full-time positions (as outlined below) with the charge to oversee and support accessible technology for the campus within the IT Division.
  3. Create the base-funded role of Accessible Technology Coordinator to provide leadership, advocacy, and oversight of the campus accessible technology portfolio including IT Procurement review and approval process.
  4. Create the base-funded role of Accessible Technology Content Specialist to perform document and content remediation, and user training and support.
  5. Create the base-funded role of Accessible Technology Operations Specialist to perform website scanning, manual evaluation, and user training and support.

Theme #3: The campus must invest in staff, tools, and other resources to measure and sustain accessible technology initiatives.

Action Items:

  1. Investigate industry-leading, enterprise-grade accessible technology platforms that prioritize ease of use, flexible and actionable reporting insights, and the ability to automate workflows.
  2. Reconsider the current campus commitment to the Compliance Sheriff web scanning platform and investigate alternate platforms in the CSU and University of California (UC) systems such as SiteImprove with the goal of improving participation, reporting, and automation of the current web scanning process.
  3. Investigate the addition of Ally for Web as a digital content scanning platform. Ally for Web's emphasis on scanning and reporting on digital content posted to websites (text, PDF, video, audio, Office) complements traditional web scanning platforms' emphasis on structural analysis of websites.
  4. Investigate the possibility of automating the IT Procurement/Security Review and Approval process and associated software required.
  5. Provide stable funding for student assistants to support the efforts of a central Accessible Technology group.

Theme #4: The campus must exercise governance and accountability in meeting accessible technology compliance standards.

Action Items:

  1. Establish website publishing and digital content policies, approved by campus leadership, that sets expectations and requirements for all websites and digital content created in support of the SDSU mission.
  2. Establish a governance group of campus stakeholders, with rotating membership, to develop, maintain, and promote websites and digital content policies and guidelines.
  3. Establish a remediation and repair procedure for non-compliant websites and digital content that clearly explains compliance issues, provides resources and guidance for repair, and communicates campus-mandated consequences, such as site removal, for non-compliance.
  4. Investigate improvements to the current website scanning process, such as use of automation for smarter, targeted notifications, and integration with a ticket and workflow system for better tracking and reporting.

Theme #5: The campus must be able to provide supporting evidence in meeting accessible technology compliance standards.

Action Items:

  1. Allocate budget to accelerate ATI implementation at SDSU including training and support.
  2. Identify ATI tasks associated with responsible individuals and add to their campus job descriptions and/or job titles.
  3. Document ATI implementation and progress made through ongoing monitoring processes and follow ups.
  4. Identify a repository to store documentation and success data for supporting evidence.
  5. Update accessibility site to reflect current policy and procedures, training and support, frequently asked questions and contact information.

Measurable Objectives and Success Criteria

SDSU’s comprehensive CAARP Plan included the following criteria:

  • ATI Project Objectives will be visible across campus and Executive Sponsorship is apparent.
  • All stakeholders will receive appropriate communication in a timely manner as per campus communications plan.
  • All key stakeholders will be engaged in the appropriate planning activities for each focus area
  • The plan will include tasks to move all ATI goals and success indicators from “below baseline” to “at baseline” or above by Academic Year 2021-2022.

We are hiring an ATI Coordinator to coordinate the ATI activities on campus.  Under the leadership and guidance of an ATI Steering Committee, we are empowering the ATI working groups for Instructional Materials, Web and Procurement to take the lead in implementing some of the strategic tasks to move us forward toward reaching our goals over a three-year period.

San Diego State University is committed to promoting a culture of inclusive technology and meeting our accessibility obligations and compliance to ensure a high quality education for all.