Communities of Practice
Accessible Technologies helps make connections between people interested building a more inclusive digital presence at the University.
Accessibility Professional Certification Grants
Consider applying today to become certified accessibility professionals. The International Association for Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) offers the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) and Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) credentials. Through a grant from TLOS's Accessible Technologies group, awardees will receive membership in the IAAP, online exam prep training, and covered exam fees.
The Accessibility Network at Virginia Tech is a community of practice that brings together Hokies who share a common vision for enhancing digital accessibility across campus. The Network provides information, community, and training to support a wide variety of activities including advancing web accessibility, incorporating universal design practices, utilizing assistive technologies, and choosing accessible learning materials.
The Network is open to all interested faculty, staff, and students. Meetings are hosted vitually through Zoom on a quarterly basis. They generally take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
The Accessibility Network has four different committees that focus on specific topics. The committees meet twice a semester to identify areas of need and growth.
- Web Content Creators (Ensemble): focuses on incorporating accessibility into websites hosted by vt.edu, including following and sharing the Keep C.A.L.M. campaign principles.
- Instructional (Canvas): focuses on the development and widespread usage of accessible teaching strategies and materials, with topics such as video for instruction and slide deck development
- Media and Publications: focuses on incorporating universal design best practices into outreach materials for the public (social media/newsletters).
- Web Accessibility: focuses on how to incorporate accessibility into digital products from a development standpoint. Familiarity with different coding languages, software packages, and so on would be beneficial for joining this subcommittee.
Interested in participating in the Accessibility Network and joining a community developing best practices in digital accessibility? Login to your Virginia Tech Google account and then join the Accessibility Network Google group. All faculty, staff, and students are welcome!
Brown Bag Lunches
The Digital Accessibility Brown Bag Lunch series hosts weekly sessions with a primary focus on web accessibility. The group attracts web designers, content creators, and developers, and functions independently from the Accessibility Network. Participants guide the topics for each meeting.
The Brown Bag Lunch series is currently on hiatus but is set to resume meeting via Zoom in November. To be notified about meeting times and topics and to be kept abreast of other opportunities to learn more about accessibility, please complete this Digital Accessibility Professional Development Survey.
Disability Alliance and Caucus
The Disability Alliance is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) at Virginia Tech that collaborates with the Disability Caucus, which represents Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Student concerns. These organizations provide a safe space for individuals with disabilities within our community and their allies to come together and engage in community building, mutual support, and disability activism. The community accepts the diversity of disability experiences and welcomes everyone with mental illnesses, physical, developmental, intellectual, and learning disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or other hidden or visible disabilities to meet and work with them to bring accessibility to the forefront of conversations.
Here are a list of listservs, Twitter accounts, discussion forums, and Slack workspaces where you can ask questions of the broader accessibility community.
- UDL Higher Education SIG
- Twitter: Disability in Higher Education
- IAAP Connections (VT folks can get a free membership to the International Association of Accessibility Professionals )
- Accessibility Network LinkedIn Group
- Slack Workspaces
Share Your Story
Do you know an accessibility champion that deserves recognition? Is there someone you would like to give a shoutout to in the Virginia Tech community who utilizes universal design in their work? We want to celebrate this work across campus and highlight these stories publicly to showcase our community focus on accessibility.