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Blog: Improving Accessible Electronic Information @ TMCC

Manny Becerra as a child

December 2008

I've been working at TMCC on the Web front now for a little over four-and-a-half years with the evolving goal of creating user- and accessible-friendly digital experiences for faculty, staff, students and the community at-large.

"The original idea of the web was that it should be a collaborative space where you can communicate through sharing information." — Tim Berners-Lee

Since starting, our small team has been recognized at the national level for creating a user-friendly college Web presence that is driven by Web standards and accessibility. I've also had the opportunity to speak at a conference in New York amongst other professionals and educators across the US and Canada on the topics of Web standards and accessibility in higher education.

Over 12,000 students in the Truckee Meadows alone, rely on the College's Web presence for conducting day-to-day academic business, exchanging ideas and registering for classes each semester. Accessibility is invaluable.

It's been a great ride so far, and a good, creative challenging journey. For some context, over 12,000 students in the Truckee Meadows alone, including all academic departments and teams across campus, rely on the College's Web presence for conducting day-to-day academic business, exchanging ideas and registering for classes each semester. Now, throw in our international audience: we have our work cut out for us and underscores the importance of ensuring the Web site is accessible-friendly.

What's next?

There's always room for continuous improvement and growth, which is why I'm excited about being asked to co-lead a new committee on campus focused on Accessible Electronic Information (AEI).

AEI's mission is to promote and provide policies, training and practices to make all information technologies and services at TMCC accessible.

The mission of the AEI commmittee is to craft and provide a set of recommendations to the College that help improve upon current training, communication and service methods which are centered around a framework that address current and possible electronic information issues faced by individuals at the College with cognitive, language, motor, visual and learning disabilities

That's a mouth-full, I know; but, effectively, we'll be drafting, promoting and providing policies, training and practices to make all information technologies and services at TMCC accessible.

Our goal is particularly exciting because it's taking what we do now with the Web and, in a cross-functional, collaborative way, apply it across the board with electronic information to foster the learning and teaching experiences of everyone on campus to be more complete and rich. For the Web alone, our current and successful efforts have been focused on adhering to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines, ADA, and Section 504 and 508 of the rehabilitation act. This will remain true moving forward, however, with AEI, we'll also focus on multimedia information and devices, telephony, digital publications, support and training, assistive technologies and individual accommodations in addition to having an accessible- and user-friendly Web presence.

We'll tie our committee's work to the College's main strategic goals to ensure we have tangible success criteria, and support from leadership and stakeholders across the campus: academic faculty, administrative facutly and students, including the community at-large.

Alright, here we go!

Manny


I am human, a father, and a problem solver: a tech and people leader with a passion and proven track-record in building and leading compassionate, productive teams—remote and on-site—within a continuous learning culture. My teams and I champion usable, inclusive digital products and online experiences. My work, passion and intentions also intersect with advising small businesses and political campaigns, life-long learning, outdoor advocacy, community building, and uplifting others. Learn more about Manny