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NEWSLETTER: Vol. 5, No. 7, April 17, 2000

UW-Madison Joins Nationwide DO-IT Prof Project,
Pursues other Avenues for Accessibility and Accommodation

by Alice Anderson
Division of Information Technology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

UW-Madison, in partnership with Madison Area Technical College, is proud to announce it has joined a select national program called DO-IT Prof that aims to increase the success of disabled students on campus. UW-Madison staff from both the Learning Technology and Distance Education group -- or LTDE, a part of the Division of Information Technology--and the McBurney Disability Resource Center are involved in this venture.

DO-IT Prof grew out of DO-IT at the University of Washington, which, since 1992, has worked to increase the representation of individuals with disabilities in post-secondary education and employment. DO-IT engages in direct work with students who have disabilities; professional development for faculty, teachers, service providers, and employers; and information dissemination. DO-IT, which stands for Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology, has been honored with several awards, including the 1995 National Information Infrastructure Award in Education; the 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; and the 1999 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education. The DO-IT Prof program's model demonstration project applies lessons learned from DO-IT and other programs and researchers nationwide to implement a comprehensive professional development program for college faculty and administrators.

UW-Madison and UW-Eau Claire have plans to expand the DO-IT Prof efforts even further by combining the accessibility awareness work on their individual campuses along with the national DO-IT Prof efforts, with the goal of developing a curriculum and resources for all UW System campuses. The two campuses have outlined strategies to accomplish this systemwide accessibility awareness and faculty development program by applying for funding through the Learning Technology Development Council Curricular Redesign Grant Program 2000-2001.

Although various campuses around the country--like the University of Washington--have developed fragmented programs to increase faculty awareness, no one has created a comprehensive program that includes statewide dissemination. Completion of this project will result in faculty and administrators who are better prepared to fully include students with disabilities on their campuses and contribute to system change within post-secondary institutions across the nation. Ultimately, this project will result in greater post-secondary educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

In addition to its national and System-wide plans, the Learning Technology and Distance Education group has been offering workshops to make it easier for faculty, instructional staff, and disabled students on campus to use information technology. LTDE has started a Technology Accessibility Program (TAP) with the goal of providing the UW-Madison campus community with the resources and support to create accessible Web- and technology-based course materials. The TAP Web site lists events that focus on accessibility issues and accommodation strategies in instruction and Web design. The site also highlights other campus resources, policies, and research.

The "Accessibility Series" component of TAP is a new addition to the Technology for Teaching and Learning Series promoting accessible design and the appropriate, effective use of technology in teaching and learning. The series uses videoconferences, lunch-hour brown bags, and hands-on workshops to promote accessibility in the design and use of technology in teaching and learning. All are welcome to attend these events.


Alice Anderson coordinates the Technology Accessibility Program and is the Learning Initiatives Coordinator for DoITís Learning Technology and Distance Learning department at UW-Madison. She can be reached by e-mail at alice.anderson@doit.wisc.edu or via mail/phone at:

Alice Anderson
Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison
Division of Information Technology / LTDE
3134 Computer Science Building
1210 W. Dayton Street
Madison, WI 53706

telephone: (608) 262-2129