Accessibility Specialist, Disability Services - Student Success

Staff Exempt Boston, Massachusetts


Description

Summary of Position:

The Accessibility Specialist of the Office of Disability Services (ODS) is responsible for the coordination and implementation of access and accommodation services (such as, exam proctoring, note taking, and accessible course materials) for students with disabilities in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Sawyer Business School; under the mandates of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (2008), MA State law and Suffolk University Policies. Additionally, the Accessibility Specialist will assist with vetting new electronic information technology, as well as testing and remediation of web content.

Principal Responsibilities:

The Accessibility Specialist responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Assist ITS during the procurement process by vetting all software or hardware to ensure it meets the institutional accessibility standard.
    • Vetting Includes: 
      • Research: outreach to vendor(s) and acquiring VPAT if available. 
      • Testing: Use of screen reader(s) [JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack software], keyboard-only access, AT access, etc.
      • Written report on state of accessibility. 
    • Accessibility Standard= WCAG 2.1 AA.
  • Provide work-arounds or other products if a product or service isn’t accessible but is needed.
  • Assist the web developers on campus by testing, reporting, and troubleshooting any accessibility issues of the ‘web-ecosystem’ maintained by that team.  
  • Research, order and track materials for conversion to accessible formats.
    • Materials = course-related books, lecture notes, math and computer science equations, graphs, diagrams, electronic Blackboard materials, exams, etc.
    • Accessible formats = computer-based images compatible with screen reader and electronic Braille technology, hard copy Braille, large print, audio recordings, etc. based on the needs of the individual student.
  • Meet with faculty to determine what text they will be using in their courses, as well as provide basic accessibility guidelines for them to consider.
  • Convert print and electronic materials to accessible formats for students with print-related disabilities.
  • Meet with students to determine their individual alt-text needs and/or assistive technology needs. Provide training on how to access alt-text and/or assistive technology (AT) needs. 
  • Create training materials, such as Panopto videos, guidelines for accessing text in various formats and best practice guides for faculty. 
  • Supervise the work-study students within the ODS office. 
  • Oversee the scheduling and proctoring of exams via the online exam request form.
  • Assist with DS office tasks as needed. This may include covering the front desk, participating in orientation and programming events.  
  • Ongoing research to maintain professional knowledge of the latest assistive technology for facilitating information access, bringing recommendations regarding acquisitions to Director.
  • Attend Student Success Divisional staff meetings and participate in a divisional committee.  Assist with duties/tasks designated by Supervisor to support Student Success divisional initiatives.
  • Attend professional development events or presenting at these events, if they enhance the knowledge of alt-text production.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Excellence communication and customer service skills. Ability to assess and adapt to needs of individual students
  • Strong computer background and demonstrated competence in rapidly researching and learning new applications.
  • Strong accessibility testing background; (preferred: knowledge of JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, TalkBack software, and WCAG 2.1 AA Standards).
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, excellent organizational and time management skills to implement and manage creative solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work comfortably with diverse populations, independently, as a leader, and as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in deadline-driven and high activity environment, and to effectively coordinate competing priorities.
  • Demonstrated competence in effective verbal and written communication.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of adaptive/assistive software, equipment and applications including alternate format conversion programs strongly preferred.
  • Professional experience assisting individuals with disabilities with adaptive/assistive technology solutions in higher education setting, 2-4 years’ experience preferred.