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Cornell's First Web Accessibility Camp Draws Hundreds

On August 6-8, 2018 over 250 Cornell staff and staff from visiting colleges attended Cornell's first Web Accessibility Camp. 

WebAIM, a non-profit organization that provides web accessibility expertise sent trainer Jonathan Whiting to Cornell University for two training sessions. Whiting focused on how to help content contributors with their accessibility skills by talking about the importance of headers and using image alt tags. Whiting also talked to designers and developers about how to make forms accessible and ARIA rules.

Additionally, among the many free training sessions offered throughout the camp including trainings from Siteimprove, an enterprise tool to help with accessibility management, a key message that was shared was that while there are automated tests that you can use it does not eliminate the need for manual testing and review. Sessions on making PDFs accessible, auto captioning and editing, as well as testing and correcting your color contrast were also available.

A panel on web accessibility at Cornell was moderated by Electronic IT Accessibility Coordinator Brandon Brylinsky. Panelists included:

  • Shannon Osburn, Asst. Director Custom Development, CIT
  • Dan Dickinson, Assoc. Director Web Communications, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Angela Winfield, Director of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity
  • Katherine “Kappy” Fahey, Director of Student Disability Services
  • Wendy Strobel Gower, Director of the Northeast ADA Center
  • Michael Creim, Current PhD/JD student

The panel gave a general overview of what’s taking place around campus for web accessibility as well as discussed why accessibility is core to the mission of the university. “For Cornell to live up to its motto of ‘Any person... any study’, it’s critical that we strive for inclusivity both within our web presence and throughout our IT infrastructure,” said Brandon Brylinsky, coordinator for IT accessibility. “It’s just the right thing to do.” 

Many resources exist on campus to help you achieve web accessibility. Join the Web Accessibility Yammer Group to exchange information, ideas, and suggestions for best practices in IT accessibility. 

You can also check out the IT@Cornell Web Accessibility page for articles on Cornell's remediation effort, tips for using Siteimprove, and other helpful web accessibility articles. 

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