The University of Illinois has officially recognized the Electronic Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Policy (HR-86) for our campus. One of the initiatives helping to implement the policy is the IT Accessibility Liaison (ITAL) program. The purpose of this program is to establish point-people in all campus units to serve as resources for digital accessibility. The ITAL program is managed by the ADA IT Coordinator.
The three primary goals of the ITAL program are:
- Honor and recognize accessibility work that’s already being done,
- Equip our staff through training, networking and community building,
- Scale our accessibility outreach by providing a knowledgeable person(s) within each campus unit.
ITAL Liaisons Are a Unit Resource!
It is not necessary to be an IT professional to be an accessibility liaison, but it is important to be comfortable using and talking about the use of common technologies found on campus (e.g. web sites, the Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe PDFs). Liaisons are tasked with the following:
- Participation in monthly training sessions Serving as a unit resource for policy, program, and accessibility standard updates
- Working regularly with faculty and staff to promote accessibility best practices
- Conducting training for their unit on basic digital accessibility best practices and techniques
- Assisting in periodic exercises, such as web site evaluations
- Providing guidance on accessibility requirements for software purchases and assisting in the creation of policy exception requests for their unit
Each liaison will receive:
- Training for the various tasks mentioned above
- Support from the ADA IT Coordinator, the Technology Accessibility Review Committee (TARC), and the ITAL Advisory Team for things like processing an exception request, answering IT accessibility questions, etc. Liaisons will have direct access to the TARC for support, not something readily available to individuals working on their own
- Community support from the ITAL program and network of fellow liaisons
- Monthly training and discussion about problem areas, needs for additional support, etc.
- A listserv for posing immediate questions or calls for help
- Access to a shared repository of resources, such as PowerPoints, meeting minutes, etc.
- Updates on federal/state regulations
- Easy connections to subject matter experts
If your unit needs representation and you have questions about the ITAL program, please contact Keith Hays, the ADA IT Coordinator for the UIUC campus.
If you would like to become an ITAL Liaison, use the IT Accessibility Liaison Enrollment Form.