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Web Accessibility Coordinator to help make OHIO's online presence more inclusive and accessible

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Jill Bateman  

This is the third in a series of stories about making OHIO's websites more accessible.

Laura Fathauer, Web Accessibility CoordinatorIn June of this year, Laura Fathauer joined OHIO’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) in the newly created role of Web Accessibility Coordinator. This position's primary focus is on building a solid strategy for making OHIO's digital content more accessible.

"We are fortunate to attract Laura," says Dianne Bouvier, Ph.D., Director for Equal Opportunity and Accessibility. "She has the exact experience and expertise we need to help us become more inclusive and accessible in our on-line presence across the University."

The right person at the right time

Finding the right person for this position is especially timely as the University recently approved the new Information Technology Accessibility Policy and is migrating to a new Web Content Management System (Web CMS). Fathauer will be a tremendous resource for the campus as we move toward finalizing the new Information Technology Accessibility Policy this fall.

Web Services Senior Manager, Toni Marinucci, agrees. "Hiring Laura is a huge milestone for the accessibility initiative," she says, "Accessibility is becoming woven into the fabric of how we develop websites from the ground up."

A Ph.D. candidate, Fathauer comes to us from Ohio State University where she worked closely with faculty, staff, and students an instructional designer. Fathauer likes to focus on making technology more effective by minimizing its cognitive load. "What I enjoy," Fathauer says, "is helping students focus on activities rather than struggle with barriers caused by technology."

Looking Ahead

Right now, Fathauer is in the process of identifying opportunities to improve the accessibility of OHIO websites and developing plans for those improvements. Among her other assignments, she also will be determining training needs for accessibility, working with the Office for University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance, and generally helping us all navigate digital accessibility requirements.

Ultimately, accessibility should become an integral part of building digital assets rather than a checkbox at the end of the process.

Related Links

Office of University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance 
An Outline for Web Accessibility
The Web is for Everyone