How do you get faculty on board?

Accessibility — if you’re going to really achieve institutional accessibility — required dramatic culture change. There is no inoculation, no quick fix, no product that will solve the whole thing for you and make our old habits and old processes accessible without adopting new habits, new behaviors, new processes.

So, the sort of culture change we need requires a lot of engagement, a lot of reminders, a lot of support. Everyone needs to be working towards the same goal, and doing their part to get the work done.

Some faculty will be more resistant to this sort of new institutional value than others are. That’s a reality of this sort of change. Our processes need to work with people where they are and keep moving towards the goal.

Also keep in mind that the workload is very different from one discipline to another, and that can be further complicated by the instructor’s individual teaching preferences and styles.  Our plans and processes need to avoid one-size-fits-all attitudes; stick to values and goals with groups, and work individually to determine strategies and tactics that will work.

There’s very little substitute for deep engagement at all levels.  Commit the accessibility leaders to talk to faculty in department meetings, in your faculty senate and any other place where faculty gather. Leverage methods for keeping accessibility in front of people regularly — through regular announcements, accessibility checks like Blackboard Ally, and anything else that works.

Stay focused — and as your staff do this work, make sure you pay attention to the emotional costs of being an advocate of a new agenda. Give them the support they need to keep going back.

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