Becoming eAccessible

John Lawrence’s message from Sept. 10, 2018

When we design for all, we increase our chances of justice for all. You might remember that statement from my January message regarding digital universal design compliance. A key component of this effort is professional development in eAccessibility, because we all need to learn how to make our digital materials accessible. We want all Iowans, including those who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities, to be able to easily navigate and understand our websites, mobile apps and electronic documents. Did you know?

  • Professional development opportunities related to eAccessibility are designed to educate extension employees on the workflow process necessary to create digitally accessible documents.
  • An upcoming workshop, “Creating Accessible Digital Documents” walks participants through a new process when working in Microsoft Office. This includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher and Outlook. Participants also experience using an electronic screen reader. This hands-on workshop will be offered face-to-face at locations across the state beginning in October and continuing through spring 2019. You can register for the workshops at
  • Extension staff who submit InDesign publications to the Extension Store meet regularly for eAccessibility updates and in October may participate in professional development workshops specific to their digital design needs.
  • Two P&S staff have been hired to help remediate existing publications on the store. John Robnett, who began working half-time in August, is focusing on remediating PDFs for 4-H and CED. Ron Nelson will start full-time Sept. 13 and focus on remediating ANR publications. Human Sciences is taking another approach to handle existing publications.
  • Watch this video from Ross Wilburn, our diversity adviser, to learn more about ISU Extension and Outreach’s commitment to accessibility.

For more information on our eAccessibility initiative, contact Robin Ertz in Professional Development, Kristi Elmore in Extension IT or Chris Johnsen with the Extension Store.

More notes

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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