At Iowa State University, we are committed to addressing accessibility as we embrace new technologies. The Digital Accessibility Coordinator provides guidance, support and consultation to units throughout campus to enable an increasing adoption of accessibility-minded practices.
Designing inclusive experiences is a journey that is never finished. It can seem overwhelming, yet a little goes a long way. People with disabilities are underrepresented in almost all facets of society and culture, making them a marginalized minority. When most organizations think of “accessibility” they think of wheelchair ramps and parking spaces. However, digital experiences are just as important as physical. Inclusive digital access is a civil right, just as access to education is a civil right. The state of Iowa has a rich history of progressive civil rights. It has often led the nation in developing inclusive legislation and educational practices. Iowa State University follows in the tradition of being progressive in education, science and technology. With so many technological advances in hardware and software we should be further along in terms of accessible and inclusive design.
The Digital Access Roadmap stands as the formalization of those efforts in pursuit of campus wide collaboration and the establishment of institutional best practices. The roadmap promotes our vision and provides a guide to outcomes, activities, timelines, and roles university community members have in providing digital access for all.
Photo credit: Christopher Gannon
Colleague Corner: Getting to Know Cyndi Wiley
Cyndi Wiley, Iowa State's new Digital Accessibility Coordinator, officially started her new role on campus Nov. 12, 2018. Cyndi is joining ITS from Grand View University, where she worked as a tenured professor. Cyndi will work at ISU part time until next spring, in order to honor her commitment to teach at Grand View through the end of the academic year.
What is your preferred name?
Besides Dr. Meowface? Cyndi. (My Twitter and Instagram handles are dr_meowface).
Do you have any pets?
Too many! Five cats and two dogs.
Why did you want to join us at Iowa State?
ISU has a rich, progressive history of equity and inclusion in science and technology research and education. Over the years, humanities and liberal arts has become an important balance. As part of this progressive ethos, the university is not only paying attention to the need for digital accessibility, it is putting resources behind it. I wanted to be a part of this movement of cultural change.
Is there anything you want to tell your coworkers about yourself?
I'm an introvert-extreme, meaning I need time to recharge my creativity with alone time. I call it "hamster-balling." This term came from a comic I read a few years back and it's a perfect description my fellow introverts will understand.
Oh yeah... and I like cats.