OhioLINK ETD Center Community Meeting

Webinar title screen
Mar 20, 2023

In this meeting, we will discuss the January digital accessibility changes and requirements in the OhioLINK ETD Center, as well as how it is going with local implementation. Library or graduate school staff who use the ETD Center are welcome to attend, especially ETD Administrators and any ETD Reviewers who approve submissions for publication in the system.

Transcription (select to toggle opened/closed)

Emily Flynn [00:00:01] Afternoon, everyone. I'm going to go ahead and start sharing the slides. You should be seeing them now. Welcome this afternoon to the ETD Center Community meeting. We're going to go ahead and get started. For today's agenda we're going to go over the OhioLINK ETD Center update. That was in January. Talk about digital accessibility and the ETD Center. Then go into the next steps for OhioLINK and local institutions for digital accessibility. And the main part of today is going to be the local digital accessibility discussion where I hope you'll unmute your microphones or chat in to talk about how things are going or ask questions for other institutions on the call today. And we will end with some time for questions as well, although feel free to ask throughout. Today I'll be recording this meeting so that we can get it posted on our webinars page on our OhioLINK website afterward, in case you want to go back or if someone wasn't here today, they can watch it at a later time. Feel free to chat any questions throughout and I'll try to handle them as they come in. Otherwise we'll get them once we hit the discussion and questions section. The OhioLINK ETD Center update. On January 31st of this year, we had the digital accessibility update, which went well. Since then all submitted ETD PDFs must meet local digital accessibility policies and standards. Submission form are the usual submissions that we get the one off, but this also applies to the batch upload as well for any institutions who use that tool now. OhioLINK is collecting the local policies to have on file. And also other note is the ETD center manuals have been updated with the latest release. So this is updated screenshots as well as some additional instructions and resources mentioned in them. So the administrator, reviewer and submitter manuals are already done and have been shared on the listserv. The retrospective batch upload manual for that batch upload tool is still in process, so I'll be getting to that soon. I just wanted to show off a quick few examples. So now since the update, this is a standard ETD submission that only has a PDF and you can see that on the files section on the left sidebar. This published ETD has the PDF and a digital accessibility report and both are displayed. The report itself is entirely optional at this point. So this institution has decided to have them. And so it's attached to the ETD and also available. If there are any other supplemental files, those would show up as well in that area. And then to give everyone a sense of what an embargoed ETD looks like, as usual, all the metadata is there, but the files themselves have been embargoed and that includes any digital accessibility reports as well. So all files will not be made available until the embargo expires.


Kim Fleshman [00:04:00] I'm sorry to interrupt, but is there some way you could switch your display settings so it's actually big enough to see? I'm seeing the preview where you have the second next slide coming up. And because it's so small, your screen, I just can't see.


Emily Flynn [00:04:21] Let me stop sharing. Thanks. I wasn't sure what display was coming up because you never know.


Kim Fleshman [00:04:28] Thank you.


Emily Flynn [00:04:29] Let me see. And then the slideshow. So instead of the screen, I'm just going to show the. PowerPoint. And I will go back for those. Are you just seeing the.


Kim Fleshman [00:05:17] That's a little bigger now. Thank you.


Emily Flynn [00:05:19] It's just the slides and not the presentation.


Kim Fleshman [00:05:21] Yes. Hmm.


Emily Flynn [00:05:23] Okay. This is hard to see. And I can also pull them up in the web browser if that's easier. Here we have the slides on the files on the side. The pdf only so you see it blue hyperlinked. That's the PDF file for the thesis dissertation.


Teresa Green [00:05:45] Emily, this is Terry. I'm sorry to interrupt, but everybody has the ability to zoom in on their screen. So it's not completely clear, but it definitely enlarges that stuff.


Emily Flynn [00:05:59] Okay. So with this one, we have the two files listed. So the top hyperlinked one is the ETD again, and then the second one is labeled Digital Accessibility Report, which is also hyperlinked on the side there. And that's a HTML file. The digital accessibility reports, again, are entirely optional and they can be any file type because we understand that institutions might have certain preferences or want to do it in different ways if you decide to use that at this time. And then the embargoed one here in the file section you see it just have bold black text, and that's the embargo message along with the date that it will release the ETD and the documents will become available at that time. So right now they're not displaying, but you do have the little embargo message. So now we'll talk a little bit about digital accessibility and the ETD center. Just a little disclaimer. I am not a lawyer. I am a librarian. And so if you have any specific questions about how the laws affect your organization, you need to talk to your legal department as you begin to look into this or have any questions if you've already started. So we'll go through a little bit of legal policy and background at the federal OSU OhioLINK and local institution levels. For the legal requirements at the federal level. We'll talk specifically briefly about the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, and this applies to state and local governments and private businesses in 12 categories, including education. So Title three of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of public accommodations. And while the law was enacted primarily to focus on obstacles at physical locations, it's being applied to websites as well. There's also Title two of the ADA that applies to state and local governments. And then federal agencies and government contractors and programs that receive federal funding are also subject to Section 504 and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which has been amended to address online resources. As a reminder, OhioLINK is has dual reporting status. So we are a state agency and we report to the Ohio Department of higher ed. We also have the Ohio State University as our fiscal agent. So we also follow their policies as well. This includes their digital accessibility policy. And specifically for new major releases of locally developed platforms must meet accessibility standards or be granted an exception. So with our big release that we had last summer and now into these additional ones, we have had to meet that standard with the OhioLINK ETD Center because it is a software that we build in-house. This also includes content on platforms and they must meet accessibility standards, which is why we now have that requirement for the PDFs, for the thesis and dissertations. OhioLINK came up with a consortial accessibility statement to address accessibility of shared e-resources. And we have an arrow pointing to the bottom one, which I'll pull up here separately. OhioLINK members have a shared responsibility in accessibility and remediation of OhioLINK shared e-resources. So as far as OhioLINK advice and direction, we as an organization talk to the council and they advise us, advised us to set a date by which ETD content would be made accessible. So after some negotiations between the ETD community and ETD council as well as our developers, we ended up landing on the official date of January 31st, 2023, which was the last update, tied to the last update. Our LAC committee, which is the Library Advisory Council and has deans and directors on it, agreed that OhioLINK institutions that participate in the ETD center agreed to make every effort to ensure that documents submitted to the center meet their institution's minimum digital accessibility standard, or MDAS. And if there isn't one, then the most recent industry standard. So that all builds up to the local digital accessibility policies that you've all been putting into place and working on. These will vary among all of our institutions that participate in the ETD center. And we need to keep in mind that many institutions, for many institutions, digital accessibility policies specifically do not require student work to be made accessible. But an ETD is a student work, but when it's published on the Web, on our platform, it becomes part of our content. So that's kind of all that's going into this. Similar to other ETD center policies all of our institutions set their own policies and workflows. We're treating this the same way and we're aware, we just want to be aware in particular of what everyone is doing with their policies, which is why we're keeping a copy on file. For most policies, we don't do that. But this is one that we're trying to keep better on top of. All right. So we're going to go into the next steps for OhioLINK and local institutions for digital accessibility. For OhioLINK, as I mentioned, we're collecting the local policies and standards and we're going to check in with you all annually to find out if there's any updates or revisions, which then we'd ask to have on file as well. So annually we'll check to make sure they're updated. If you update yours before we ask, you can certainly feel free to send it to us when you know it's being updated. We're also going to check select ETDs annually for digital accessibility, and we'll go off of the OhioLINK recommended minimum standards, which we know some people are going above, but a lot of people are using that standard. And then we will contact any local ETD administrators about digital accessibility as needed. For your institution, you'll need to adopt and maintain a standard for your ETDs, and that will probably include workflows. If you have a template, you could add accessibility to your template. And think about perhaps other local resources that could offer help. We've heard of people partnering with the writing lab. If you're a library, you might reach out to the grad schools or other departments on the campus that make sense. And this is particularly helpful if you're going to have the students do the accessibility and getting them trained in software. There's a lot that goes into it, which again, is why it needs to be unique at each institution. As a reminder, I've mentioned this before, but we do have an OhioLINK recommended minimum standard for ETD PDFs. We have these five points. Some institutions are going beyond this. It's a bare minimum that can be used as a local policy, but it can also be a starting point. And just to note that while ETD Digital accessibility can be complex, this is what we have for PDFs so far. And so right now you're likely find some tricky situations or unique ones, and that also includes latex, as we know. So you'll have to keep that in mind as you're working through this too. You'll probably have some sort of exceptions and need to handle those in a way that makes sense for your institution as well. So at this point I will check for questions, but then we can open it up to a discussion. I would love to have people share their experiences or ask any questions. Find out how it's going locally, because we've been doing this now for a couple of months and we have most policies on file. So I know people have something in place whether or not students have been submitting yet. I think we probably have a mixture of both on the on the call today. So feel free to unmute and share or type in chat. I'm going to stop sharing my slides right now so I can look at chat more easily. Yes, Terry, it looks like you have your hand up.


Teresa Green [00:16:52] Yeah. Thanks. I just wanted to share that I'm one of the few schools that have still yet to submit their formal accessibility standards. But we are just following for right now the minimum standards that were set by OhioLINK and I convened a very small committee, but that included our Director of Student Disability and Accessibility Resources, Librarian from our Health Science campus, who in particular will be uploading professional projects so those don't go, you know, to OhioLINK. Also two other folks from the library side again. So you know, we've had several discussions and we drafted out our minimum standards and but what our primary discussion was, was on how students are going to be able to do an accessibility check. And so we were able in the grad school to be to be done within the next 2 to 3 weeks, we were able to get two laptops that have a year long subscription to Adobe Pro. And so basically we're just going to have it open, you know, Monday through Friday in our office and students can drop in. You know, we will also have our reviewer. She's a GA and myself, but you know, we'll be there to help them review or, you know, produce a report or then most importantly, make those corrections. So we haven't yet have them installed and we haven't yet floated this idea over to our library side because we just finally got confirmation on it a short while ago. But that's our approach right now. Instead of asking students to, you know, do like a temporary member or subscription or anything like that and we're still working on really how to try and create the best word template, you know, so.


Tim [00:19:40] Hi, Emily. This is Tim from Ohio State. Hope you all are doing well. I'll just first I'll just say kind of where we are as you know, Emily, we wrote up our own plan and really we're focusing on education and getting information out to the students and the faculty in the programs. It's just going to take a, you know, quite an effort to make this stuff, you know, standard, I think, across the board. But this is a great start. And I will say that I've been pretty pleasantly surprised. I think the students are naturally taking to it a little bit. I think, you know, students are kind of aware of this, of this as well. And although we're not really, you know, requiring anything per se this semester, we find, you know, quite a few people that are, you know, jumping into the accessibility. As a matter of fact, this morning, I had my first format check where the students accessibility was totally perfect. So that was, that was cool. We've had a few of those. So, you know, and I was hoping that would happen. I would hoping that the students maybe we needed to give it a little bit more credit that they might be able to actually apply this stuff. You know, that we're doing some of the basic stuff that they're doing the language in the title and all that. The alt tags or the alt text is is certainly a challenge, as most people know. But I even did my own alt tags and a document here recently. So so it can't be done. But anyway, we are making progress and really, really, you know, happy with the way things are going so far. I do have one question and just a comment about one of your slides there again, about OhioLINK checking documents periodically to see if they are meeting the school's accessibility standards and then contacting if not, you know, I think I've asked this before, but so what happens then? Right? You guys say that we're not meeting something. So now what? Well, it's our documents, but it's on OhioLINK's  platforms. So how are we going to work that out?


Emily Flynn [00:21:55] So that's a great question. This definitely comes into play with your local policy because as long as you have a local policy, you should make sure that you're able to meet it, and then that's what we'll hold everyone to. So even though we're checking the OhioLINK minimum, if there are any exceptions, we'll keep that in mind. But that's the way to do it, is to set a local policy that you're able to achieve and make sure that you can. And then that's that'll be part of it. As far as checking, it's going to be a small sample and it'll be, we were going to choose some random selection of schools each time. So we're not going to go through everyone's ETDs every single year. This needs to be achievable for us in our staff level as well. But we need to do something to make sure that the policies are not only in place but also being met. So that's how we're going to approach it.


Tim [00:22:59] Yeah. This as long as I think we've got to keep in mind, because I still get the vibe that, you know, things will be changing here. And I think it's important for OhioLINK to really be upfront about what might be coming down the road. And I know you guys are, but I'm just saying, you know, if you're going to require the accessibility checker be attached, I mean, if you're going to require certain standards, you know, these are all things, you know, I you know, what I think should be discussed at even higher levels than than what we are, to be honest, that I've mentioned that to you before. But, um, but, you know, like I said, we're writing our policy, like, right now, we're not requiring anything per se, right? So there's really so, you know, for OhioLINK to make a judgment on something, you know, I think there's still some question there. And so anyway, we've got a ways to go, but I think we all would agree, would agree with that. And so I appreciate that. Just want to throw that out there.


Emily Flynn [00:23:54] Yeah. And if anything does, we're not looking at requiring the digital accessibility report any time soon, but if that would change, we would definitely give everyone ample time and a heads up. Same with any minimum standard. You know, we have to put something in place based on the OSU policies and the fact that we did an ETD rewrite the other year. So it was considered a new platform or new enough. And so that's where some of this came from. So we've been trying to work within it because we still want the schools to have their own local policies, but we need to do something from the center as well, especially because it's considered OhioLINK content since we're providing it through our website. So that's the, what's been driving this. Thanks, though, Tim. That definitely makes a lot of good points and stuff to think about for the future especially.


Tim [00:24:48] Yeah, great.


Emily Flynn [00:24:51] Looks like we have a few more hands raised.


Marty Jenkins [00:24:54] Emily, can I just jump in because I want to follow in on what you were saying. This is Marty Jenkins. I'm the chair of DIAD, and I just wanted to follow up on that. I think on what Tim was asking about, I think a large part is..


Kim Fleshman [00:25:09] What is DIAD? .


Marty Jenkins [00:25:10] DIAD is the Database Improvement and Discoverability Committee. It's the pilot policy team that deals with cataloging and metadata and is also sort of the host creature for this for the ETD council. And I just wanted to mention, I think. You know, OhioLINK has rarely been and I don't think wants to be really in the position of a great deal of enforcement. But I think this read this, you know, periodic checking again is going to be based on, you know, we're looking to see if the if the document is meeting the local standard that we've asked you to put in place. So I think it's just OhioLINK's way of demonstrating that they're doing their due diligence in case anything comes up with this that, you know, we've been checking the institutions, we've communicated to the institution that we found ones. You mean if we, you know, if this happens that we've found documents that don't meet the standard, you know, I don't think OhioLINK is looking to be in a position of booting anybody out of the ETD Center or anything over this kind of stuff, it is just a way a way of of doing our due diligence as OhioLINK and again anything, anything that OhioLINK would change and major requirements of this policy would have to go through LAC the OhioLINK governing committee if not even other you know depending on how where the tentacles seem to go, you know, other parts of OH-Tech or or the Department of Higher Ed. So.


Emily Flynn [00:26:54] Thanks, Marty.


Tim [00:26:56] I say. Thanks, Marty. I appreciate those comments. You know, I think it's important, too, that the universities are included in these future discussions. And I know and Emily and I have talked about this a little bit about, you know, we're talking kind of with, you know, the administrators and that sort of thing. And yes, I'm telling my dean, but I do almost feel that sometimes that that maybe the deans and the head of OhioLINK should be talking about some of this because this gets into even resource issues. I mean, this gets into possibly having to hire people.


Emily Flynn [00:27:30] And that's where the policies came from. So the the Library Advisory Council LAC that I mentioned is that group that has quarterly meetings. They're the library deans and directors that are attending. Amy is there. She's the executive director of OhioLINK. Amy Pawlowski. She's there running the meeting and having discussions. And they're the ones that came up with the accessibility statement and discussions of, yes, the ETD center content needs to be included.


Tim [00:28:04] Are graduate school deans a part of that?


Emily Flynn [00:28:07] It depends on who's the rep from the school. But yes, and then Marty put it in the chat. The deans also meet with the IUC presidents, CIOs, etc.. So it's they've been a part of the discussions before it came to us to enact it and put it in place. And so they've been discussing it for longer than ETD council and the ETD community has. But yeah, that's a good point. And there's. Terry says, I know that discussion in CCGS has been brewing on and off about this.


Tim [00:28:49] Hmm. Interesting.


Emily Flynn [00:28:52] Yeah, it's hard to convey everything sometimes and make sure that it's all there. But these are this is how the policies develop. And since OhioLINK has been around for 30 years now we do have so there is a lead. And it wasn't just abrupt, but yes, it can be hard when people have, you know, only a certain slice of it. Right? Even I have a certain slice of what I see running through OhioLINK. So.


Tim [00:29:20] Hmm. Yeah, I guess it's just. I mean, I can tell you, the graduate school Dean, that we've had to get we're not we're not at that level. You know, they were not aware. I mean, we've had meetings over the years, but they were certainly were not aware of it beforehand. And I just think some of the discussions, you know that that need to be taken to, like I said, you're talking about resources, you're talking about, you know, like I said, hiring people, you know, especially with an institution our size. So I just I don't know I think it's just interesting that that those people at that level at the grad schools, too, that they that are really involved in the implementation of these policies, you know, that they were directly, you know, related to students that that those people be involved.


Emily Flynn [00:30:19] Well, I'll make a note, and this is definitely a helpful feedback. Thank you, Tim.


Tim [00:30:23] Yep.


Emily Flynn [00:30:24] It looks like we have a few more hands raised. So if people want to go ahead and jump in.


Cindy Kristof [00:30:28] I don't know if I can jump in really quick, but I just want to jump in really quick. I'm home sick today, but I decided I wanted to come to this meeting, but we had our first student come in just in person panicking this morning. And of course I wasn't there. So now I'm meeting with them Wednesday morning and I think it'll be okay. I think she's not just panicked about accessibility, but she's panicked about like what copyright means and that kind of thing. So I'm going to have to be working with her. But anyway, the big thing at our school was access to Adobe Acrobat Pro to get this done, and nobody liked the idea of downloading it and keeping it for free or even downloading and keeping it for a month for $19.99. So I think that the school at Kent State was going to try to purchase like an enterprise wide Adobe, whatever it is, I forget what they call it exactly. There's like some other name besides Acrobat Pro, but I don't know, like I read the Board of Trustees minutes last week and the board of trustees seems to approve something, but I'm not sure if it's an enterprise wide thing for everybody to have it for free or if it's our just our normal deal happening with our discount. But we have two students. But that's been like a huge concern. So I don't know where that's going to go, but I'm hoping it turns out in our favor because it seems to be like a stumbling block between submitting the EGD and then maybe getting edits back from the end of the people who need to make the edits, the gatekeepers in our case, and then the student having to re re make it accessible again. So there's too much lag time. You know, it's not going to it's not really going to work very well, I think, for us. But so far so good. I mean, other than the student this morning, but I hope that's not a sign of anything. Anyway, so just thought I'd say that. Yeah, $14.95 a month. All right. Yeah. Nobody wants to pay even that.


Jane Wu [00:32:40] Hi. I'm, I hope I didn't cut anybody off. Just to hear a little bit what we did here at Otterbein. And we did created a policy that include all the minimum digital accesibility standard required by OhioLINK. The only thing that we add is to require a student to attach the accessibility report. Because we're thinking that way that it's approved that student did their due diligence. And so I, I'm wondering, I've already submitted to OhioLINK our policy. My question for OhioLINK is, ah, will there be a website that OhioLINK list everybody's policy? So everybody can kind of like a compare and check to see, you know, where everyone's are and maybe learn from each other. And at this point, I already presented, you know, talking about policy. It's a policy. I wrote it myself. Right? And then so I presented at the graduate committee and I presented it to also undergraduate, because we have an institutional repository that we collect the undergraduate work. So I'm also requiring them to meet this, you know, our minimum accessibility standard. Our university recently just passed a video accessibility policy, and I was asking, you know, should this policy be part of the sub policy of that university policy? But it seems that different people have a different opinion here. And I would like to ask, you know, the OhioLINK member at your institution how you view this policy, because some people would say, oh, it's a guideline for your function,functional area. So that means for me, for myself, which I don't agree. And then there are people saying, oh, this is maybe it's a library policy, but then, you know, library has no power over the student academic work, right. If it's not a requirement from the faculty. And if students submit something, especially, you know, for students who are graduating, they submit, it in April and then they just leave in May. And if they submit something that didn't meet any of the requirement, there's nothing we can do about it. And after they graduate, we hardly can get hold of anyone, right? So to me, I think it should be actually academic requirement if the faculty, they require a student to write the paper or meeting some kind of like a graduate format or APA standard, this can be just another formatting requirement that they need to meet also, right? So to me it should be a university policy. But right now we are at a place, you know, having a different, you know, controversial voice on this issue. You know, some people think it's a guideline for my functional area and some people think it's a library policy and some people agree it should be a university policy. So I guess my second question for the group is, you know what, you know, how you approach this and, you know, what do you guys think?


Deb Phillipp [00:36:19] That was the question I had. If we get word back from OhioLINK, that requirement hasn't been met, how are we going to chase down the student to, you know, correct those revisions and make them so it's next to impossible They've loan the coop. And so I appreciate you asking that question.


Jane Wu [00:36:46] Yeah. And people actually people at OhioLINK has these policy since I'm the institution repository manager and starting just two years ago when I took over the job, we've been checking the student work, you know, to see if they actually meet the accessibility. But it just. Takes too much time. It dramatically slowed down our workflow. So that is why I add that accessibility to report as a requirement so the student actually do their due diligence. And then even though we are the last step to check, it will be a lot less of a work for us. So we can just check the report to see if they actually meet the minimum, right? And also in terms of the Adobe. Yeah, we do have some question here too. On all campus, all the computers does have that Adobe Pro that student can use. We also have some graduate students. They are online only they, they never come to the campus anyway. So the ITS right now is having some issues you know, wending. They said, well, if there's only a couple of the online students, we can wend them some temporary license. But if we're getting more online students, online only student, it will become an issue. So the, right now, the solution they're proposing is if the student they don't have a way to make the correction, maybe the library will do it for them. But I'm still having some issues with that. So that's why I think if they can do the due diligence in the original software like word PowerPoint, you know, make it accessible that it was only a couple mistake after they convert it to PDF, maybe we can fix it for them. Another way is I think I'm going to propose maybe, but because there's a lot of free software out there that can check to, can provide the accessibility report. They cannot fix it for you, but they can at least provide you the accessibility report. So I'm thinking, you know, if we do, if ITS cannot provide the Adobe license for those online only student, maybe we can suggest them to use those free software to still attach the accessibility report showing us they did their due diligence. And then we will use the Adobe Pro as a last resort here in the library or maybe in the writing center that help them to correct the last few mistake, if that's necessary.


Kim Fleshman [00:40:00] I'm going to say that we're not having any problems. Everybody's probably like, Oh, about this, and I'm sorry, we've been doing this for since January 2021 it's been our requirement we've had to, thanks, Terry. We've had to edit a couple of things along the way just to make sure that we had some language for when we couldn't get a document accessible. And since I'm the person that has to checkmark that it meets accessibility standards. I'm also the person running the accessibility report. So the report automatically downloads to your computer. You should check your documents, or that's where I found mine. We're going a sort of straight to the desktop. So I change that and it's an easy thing to link and upload into OhioLINK.


Deb Phillipp [00:40:54] Kim, are you with Bowling Green?


Kim Fleshman [00:40:55] Yes.


Deb Phillipp [00:40:56] Your your video is excellent. I really learned a lot from that.


Kim Fleshman [00:41:01] Oh, thank you. Appreciate it.


Deb Phillipp [00:41:08] Could I ask a question about I think the one area that still sort of trips me up and just was maybe looking to get a different perspective on it. Because I feel like I've read it over and over again. When it comes to alternative text students are asking me, you know, what if they are describing in detail version the image in a paragraph either before or after that. Do they still need to do the alternative text step?


Kim Fleshman [00:41:45] They should. And I know there are people who say, oh, no, if it's being described, they don't have to. But there's a meaning and a purpose to their figure, a picture that they're including and a lot of other people, I just refer them to, the Social Security Administration, put out this fantastic guide. And truly it just if you see their examples, what they're saying is good alternate text, you will better understand. So they use an example of the, a guy, a gentleman being guided by a dog. And so they're telling you that a man is being guided by the dog that gives a dog's name and that he's using his left hand. And if I'm not sighted, maybe whatever I'm reading before and after that picture is talking about guide dogs or something, but it's not really conveying the action or the purpose of that picture or that figure. It's also really helpful with figures that are trying to convey data type information.


Deb Phillipp [00:42:52] Yep.


Kim Fleshman [00:42:53] Do it because the figure has a purpose or has a trend or something that it's showing it's going to go up. If it's a bar graph at a certain point or there's going to be a greater slice of the pie and maybe there's a reason. So in the text they might say, you know, that 80% this and 70% that and 62% this, I know that doesn't equal 100. But giving a little further context for the person, you can't see it. If you've ever listened to a screen reader, it would make you more empathetic to what people are dealing with and to understand to It is not just limited to people of low vision who are listening to these things. There are people who are ADD, who actually use the audio. It helps them with focusing. There are people who are just better auditory learners and there are other reasons that people may be listening to the document instead of looking at the document. Dyslexia would be another reason, for example. So I don't I didn't realize how necessary accessibility was until I met a few people who were actually dealing with it. And then my perspective changed.


Deb Phillipp [00:44:19] Thank you.


Marc Jaffy [00:44:24] I also actually have a question about alt text. And I will say we've had, I think, five submitted so far this term and none of them have had the alt text included. So I've been doing a lot of emailing with students saying, Hey, you need to add the alt text. And I will say we took a different view, I guess, as far as method, because again, we also, like everyone else, you know, our students don't have Acrobat Pro and we tried to put together instructions on how to do this in word and export it, to which I think nobody is looking. We actually have a meeting with our candidate scheduled for next week to go over some of this but one of the things I've been wondering. So I basically send them something asking for all text and they send it in. What extent are people monitoring the alt text? In other words, if they just send something, are you saying, okay, it's all text great and putting it in where I'm adding it for them because it's more hassle to try to get them to resubmit the PDF. It's it's just easier to have them give me the alt text and put it in there. But I guess are you reviewing the alt text for content to make sure it's valid alt text or are you just saying whatever they say goes? You know, if it's something like I've seen some where it's just like automatically generated, in which case I will say something to them. But if they give me any sort of sentence or so describing it, even if maybe that doesn't seem right, you know, are you going to go ahead and accept that? Or how are people handling that?


Kim Fleshman [00:46:00] At our school. If it's auto generated and it doesn't make sense, we send it back for that. If they have done something to describe it, we're not judging whether or not it's good or bad alt text. We're looking to see that they did it. But if it's just completely ridiculous because sometimes the auto generated will tell you that it's a fruit basket when you're looking at a fish. Sometimes it gets good and sometimes word doesn't, you know. So that's the only time we would correct them, is if it's just way, way wack.


Marc Jaffy [00:46:42] Thanks. That's kind of how I've been dealing with it, but I just wasn't sure.


Emily Flynn [00:46:50] I see Linda still has her hand up. Linda, if you want to jump in, go ahead. I know we're getting down to time. We have about 11 minutes yet, so we'll keep going. But I just want to make sure we get some more comments here and we do have some chat, so feel free to read about more alt text that people have been posting. Go ahead, Linda. Oh, it look like you remuted yourself. So. Now you're off of mute. It's not coming through if you're talking. So why don't you go ahead and chat? I am going to get Deb's comment. I'm concerned that as a department of one, not sure how I'm going to find the time. So this is kind of the the tricky part. With how you're going to do it with your local workflows and who is responsible. We have a lot of people who say they turn it back to the students, but you still have to be going through them fairly quickly in order to even get it back to your students, if that's possible. It's yeah it's hard with especially a staff of one or if you're in the library and requirements usually come out of the grad school. So we have about two thirds of our ETD institutions are run through the library and only about a third are run through the grad school. And that sometimes makes the difference for where policies get set. And so you might have to reach out to others on campus if you're running it through the library, but you need some kind of requirement to have a little more officialness to it. And it sounds like Jane is trying to do that through having the students generate the accessibility reports so they're thinking more about it and she can just check the report. But even that is still work for a staff of one. I know this is we're trying to make it kind of as Marty helped explain as well. We're trying to meet these requirements ourselves, being the providers of this content and do what we can do. We're also trying to leave it open like our other policies that you all set locally. You decide your embargo policies, you decide if you have reviewers who edit documents directly or if the students do it and get resubmitted. That is all customizable to you all. And so we're trying to treat this the same way. But even with it, it can be hard to make sure that it gets done or figure out where it should go. We do have, let me pull up. I do have listed the ETD resources as a reminder for what's available on our website, and that has a consideration guide that I spent some time going through and figuring out things that you should think about to help generate these kind of questions that you might have. So the Digital Accessibility Decisions and Consideration Guide. We have a resources page as well that talks about remediation of the documents and review of accessibility. Minimum standard is up at the top, but we also have a bunch of links, including to Kent State site where they talk about accessible PDF instructions for their students. Kim's video was mentioned. She does about I think it's an hour long about Adobe Acrobat Pro and accessibility. So that's linked there too as well as a bunch of other resources throughout the US that are really good that talk about this too. No, that doesn't fully get at it. But we're trying to give you guys leeway as well as some help in trying to get guidance to get this all sorted out. We're working on it alongside you all. Looks like we have some more comments in the chat. Is there anyone who wants to unmute and talk or ask any more additional questions? I want to make sure we get everyone who wanted to ask something today or share.


Kim Fleshman [00:51:34] It seems like a lot of schools are talking about not actually having Acrobat professional document cloud version available to their students. It's certainly not cheap. I guess I can understand why some universities aren't using it. We have it available in our computer labs on campus so a student can come to campus to use it for free. But honestly, since literally since we've been putting stuff in OhioLINK 2004-2005, we have required that if a student for most of our students will tend to be finishing in that last semester. So they have moved on. They don't live in Bowling Green and we put it on the student that they have to pay for that month subscription, which is $14.95. And a lot of people don't feel comfortable about passing that on to the student. But our school views that it's like, you know, a textbook or something else that they would have to purchase. It's the cheapest one they'll buy.


Teresa Green [00:52:46] At the University of Toledo we can't even, we used to have access to it. It used to be like, you know, our computers in the library or computer labs. And now no one has it. Unless you have specific need for it, you have to submit a request to have access. And that goes for staff and faculty to not just students. So I had asked, like if we could have like slots purchased for our virtual lab because the same we have a lot of distance only students or, you know, students who have moved away it's their final semester. And that answer is still no. So.


Kim Fleshman [00:53:34] Well, and you can always tell the student, you know, often when they're away, it's because they already are working so they can check their work to see if they have it available. I often tell students to check their local library, like I was surprised to find out our downtown library has access to it.


Teresa Green [00:53:49] Really?


Kim Fleshman [00:53:50] It's not the very most current version in their case, but it'll do what they need to do, right.


Emily Flynn [00:53:57] Hmm. That's a good point. A lot of public libraries have great resources. All right. So we have about 4 minutes left. If you have any additional questions, I put my contact information up here. And if you need anything else, you can also email support at ohiolink dot edu. That's our general support email if you need anything, most ETD stuff gets routed to me or Judy if it's more accessibility related.


Kim Fleshman [00:54:39] I will also say that you do get a seven day free trial with Acrobat Document Cloud. Now that doesn't work for those of us who work full time and have to check these things. It might work for the student. I generally let students know that if they're banking on that and I'm checking some of the documents, I might not get back to them in time in the seven days. They might as well bank on the idea that they're paying the $14.95. So it's hard to say that, but it might be a way to sell it. It's Free for seven days. Trial.


Brandon Bowman [00:55:20] Hi Emily, this is Brandon Bowman at Case Western Reserve.


Emily Flynn [00:55:24] Yeah.


Brandon Bowman [00:55:26] Just to chime in on a couple of things. We our policy includes asking the student to include their report. So we've been doing this the same thing Jane was talking about and some others. So and that's not been an issue so far. But I know about the students that I've done for metrics or so far have all done it. I haven't had any students talk directly to me. I not on the council so not on the call too so she is my colleague who does this at Case Western. I'm not aware that we've had students particularly talk about any of this. We've had a number of instances of pushback from the faculty, I think mostly because they're anticipating anxiety that we, at least as of yet, have not been seeing from students. So hopefully that will be the case. I think one of the biggest things was assuring students that they were not going to be kept from graduating this semester because of that information, as far as they're concerned, came in later than they would have liked to see it. And that's understandable. And so we've made assurances to everyone who asks that we're working with students to try to get it all done as best we can. If we can't, then we know we're not going to say, You can't graduate now because you haven't done this. And that seems to have been okay. And we've worked with, I've worked with a couple of students who have had to go back and forth and say, I need you to do this. And just like we do any other part of the format check that we do. And so far it's been fine. Our students do have access to it on campus to Adobe pro on campus at our computer labs in the library and that sort of thing. We haven't had a conversation directly with students about, Oh, well, you might have to buy this or you might have to. But I may have those conversations one on one with students when they ask about it. But I don't I don't think we're planning to publish a lot of this is your responsibility, so you should do it kind of thing. And it has so far been a big deal. I'm hoping it'll stay that way, but. So far, so good, I think. Qualifies or applies to us right now as well.


Emily Flynn [00:58:12] Great. Thanks for sharing, Brandon. While we're right at 3:00. So I think we're going to end today's session. Thank you all so much for joining us and having a lively discussion and sharing and asking great questions. If there's anything else after the meeting, certainly let me know or if you have any issues or anything, feel free to email support and we'll get back to you. Thank you all so much for joining us today. Take care, everyone

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