Partner of the Week and of the Month: Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and Dell Dumas

We’re doing a two for one for the final week of December.

Screenshot of the OIRA Data Snapshot Web Page for August 2012

Web Page Screenshot

We are recognizing the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, under the direction of Gillian Leonard, as our Partner of the Week for December 28th, and an important part of that office, Secretary Dell Dumas, as our Partner of the Month for December.

Data Presents Special Challenges

Here’s why: The OIRA faces major challenges due to the nature of the information that it puts on its Web site. Its job is to provide data about Purdue Calumet and charts and graphs and numbers can be difficult to present in an accessible fashion, even for those who do not use assistive technology.

Proactive Efforts

Screen shot of the OIRA Data Snapshot PDF  for August 2012

PDF Screenshot

The office has met with University Relations on several occasions over the past few months, to talk about the Web Accessibility Policy and guidelines. One success story is the Data Snapshot, a periodic news brief published as a PDF by the OIRA, containing interesting information about the history of Purdue Calumet, or how the campus matches up against other schools. As with most PDFs, the document requires a great deal of work to make it accessible. Beginning in the fall, we began helping the OIRA retrofit the PDFs. We also helped to create Web pages duplicating those PDFs, to make sure that the information is available to everyone, since HTML is the most accessible format.

Partner of the Month

Every year, the OIRA publishes a Data Digest which is a compilation of statistics about Purdue Calumet. And this year, it is being produced in an accessible form — published as Web pages and as a PDF. Much of the credit for this effort goes to Dell Dumas. She is responsible for putting together the Data Digest and the Data Snapshot. We have worked closely with Dell to produce the accessible versions and we could not have done this without her dedication and focused efforts.

Still Challenges Ahead

The OIRA still has much work to do on the site, due to the sheer volume of archived documents which must be retrofitted and link text which needs to be changed to be more screen — reader friendly. But the office is committed to getting that work done. This is why we are proud to recognize the OIRA as our Web Accessibility Partner of the Week and Dell Dumas as our Web Accessibility Partner for the month of December!