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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Digital Accessibility Grassroots Effort to University Policy

Date & Time
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 1:20 PM PST  
Grand ABCD  

Northwestern University has historically taken a grassroots approach to digital accessibility, resulting in uneven application across campus. The Digital Accessibility Steering Committee (DASC), consisting of members from Northwestern IT, AccessibleNU (disability services), the Office of Equity, and the Office of General Counsel, was formed and took it upon itself to raise digital accessibility's profile on campus. The DASC transformed Northwestern's approach into a more coordinated effort using limited available resources. This presentation will discuss how the DASC developed and implemented a digital accessibility support network across the university's administrative units (the digital accessibility liaisons) and processes (the accessible purchasing process) with the expertise on campus to set the foundation for a systematic approach to digital accessibility. Once the infrastructure was in place, the DASC developed a digital accessibility policy endorsed and approved by the administration, solidifying these efforts as the university's official approach to digital accessibility. What started as a grassroots effort among some campus champions of accessibility turned into a coordinated effort and approach throughout the university, culminating in developing a digital accessibility policy, which previously didn't exist. This presentation will share the steps to develop the digital accessibility liaisons, the accessibility purchasing process, and the digital accessibility policy. It will also discuss how the DASC navigated roadblocks that arose throughout the process, providing a model for others with limited resources to follow to raise the profile of digital accessibility on their campuses.

This Presentation Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of March 7, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Information & Communications Technology
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
This presentation follows Northwestern’s transition from a digital accessibility grassroots effort to a systematic approach. It will highlight a committee’s success in establishing and implementing a digital accessibility liaison network, an accessible purchasing process, and a university digital accessibility policy on limited available resources.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Education
  • Law, Compliance, and Policy


  • James Stachowiak
    Northwestern University

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