U-M IT Accessibility Efforts

The University of Michigan is committed to supporting those with accessibility needs. There are several ongoing and project activities that are currently underway across the university to help improve accessibility to technology for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities. A sampling of these activities include:

  • The CIO has funded and staffed an Assistive Technology Manager position within Information and Technology Services (ITS). This position serves as an advisor on assistive technology to all departments of the university. The position is currently being filled by Jane Berliss-Vincent.
  • The university has a dedicated Digital Information Accessibility Coordinator, Phil Deaton, who works to provide students, faculty, and staff with support and advice on digital accessibility.
  • Enterprise Application Services (EAS) has two employees, Gonzalo Silverio and Brandon Werner, who lead the digital accessibility initiative on campus, in collaboration with Jane and Phil.
  • The Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office (ECRT) has several ongoing efforts to support accessibility, including a campus-wide Web Access Group that meets regularly to discuss issues relating to Web accessibility. ECRT also maintains the Digital Accessibility at U-M website to share techniques, tools, and advice about making websites accessible, as well as performs website evaluation and training for U-M units.
  • Medical Ergonomics provides ergonomic consultations to any faculty or staff member under medical care for an ergonomic issue or disability issue. If your ability to perform your job is impacted due to a change in your vision, hearing, strength, endurance, or coordination, assistance and support are available through the MHealthy Medical Ergonomics Program. A physician’s referral is required. Additional health-related services are available through MHealthy.
  • The LSA Faculty and Staff Disability Navigators are part of a 3-year pilot program aimed at establishing a clear disability accommodations process for faculty and staff, centralizing disability-related resources, and improving accessibility broadly across LSA's physical and digital spaces. To meet with the Disability Navigators, Jessica McCuaig and Lloyd Shelton, please complete the Disability Navigators Meeting Request Form.
  • U-M Council for Disability Concerns (CfDC) meets monthly to address disability issues affecting the University of Michigan community. The Council is organized in committees reflecting the concerns and interests of its members.
  • Services for Students with Disabilities recognizes disability as an integral part of diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable educational environment for disabled students.Services include the Testing Accommodation Center (TAC) and Academic Support Programming.
  • ITS Campus Computing Sites provides assistive technologies on all of its public computers and has several adjustable tables available at multiple computer labs on campus. In addition, the university has established the James Edward Knox Adaptive Technology Computing Center in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library. The site is designated as quiet study space for students affiliated with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), and features some assistive technologies not available elsewhere.
  • U-M is part of the Big 10 Academic Alliance (BTAA) IT Accessibility Group, which promotes collaboration among the Big Ten universities.

This work, along with a history of advocacy by people such as Jim Knox and Jack Bernard, has positioned the university as a nationally recognized leader in regard to technology accessibility.

Additional information about Google Apps for Education accessibility barriers and alternative options is available.