(Apologies for cross-posting, just hoping to get a variety of perspectives.)


First, I really enjoy absorbing the knowledge and input from the various accessibility groups - so, thank you for that.

However, as I sit in on these groups and learn more about their work I've realized I'm not yet finding clarity on how they fit in/contribute to the larger ecosystem of accessibility in higher edu. I'm hoping some of you can help paint that picture for me or point me to resources I may be overlooking.

The groups I'm familiar with include:

  *   EDUCAUSE Accessibility Constituent Group
  *   IMS Global Accessibility ILN
  *   AHEAD
  *   ATHEN
  *   WCET

Are there any others I'm missing?

I guess my questions can be broken down as:

  *   Which roles are most represented in each group?
  *   How do you distinguish which group is most relevant to your work?
  *   Do the groups communicate with one another/track initiatives in order to prevent duplication or leverage previous work? Do initiatives ever merge to form a larger level workgroup or are the boundaries here strictly enforced given the sponsoring bodies?
  *   If only picking one, which group would be most relevant to someone new(er) to the field of accessible technology in higher ed? (And yes, there are probably different answers depending on the person's role and scope of work, but imagine if the person had to wear every accessibility hat on campus -- as is the case for many of our smaller colleges.)
  *   Are there other spaces for developing communities of practice if someone was looking for a venue to foster great collaboration on projects?

I'm happy to collect input and pair it with more research if others would also benefit from having some sort of clearly defined "eco-system" from which to present to folks entering/navigating the field. Maybe this could be picked up as a roundtable at Accessing Higher Ground as I know others have approached me with similar questions.

(Or maybe the full eco-system hasn't developed and that's why I'm feeling a little disjointed. In which case, I'll try to be more patient. 😉)

Thanks for your continued guidance and input!


Jess Thompson
Program Administrator, Accessible Technology Initiatives
Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
p: 360.704.4327 | c: 253.229.8591
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