From the Great Lakes ADA Center…
The Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology in Post-Secondary Education (QIAT-PS) project created a set of indicators to describe the characteristics of high quality AT services provided to students in Post-Secondary educational environments.
The indicators are divided into five general areas:
- Awareness and Eligibility -The Awareness and Eligibility area describes the steps programs take to make sure that students with disabilities are aware of AT services on the campus and know how to get access to them.
- Planning and Implementation -The Planning and Implementation area describes the things that programs do to make sure that students are able to use their AT devices as accommodations in classrooms and other campus settings.
- Evaluation of Effectiveness – Evaluation of effectiveness addresses activities that programs engage in to help ensure that their AT services are effective and as efficient as possible.
- Administrative Support -The administrative supports that are necessary in order to ensure continuity of program improvement efforts are described in this area. The indicators address the development of policies, procedures and other supports needed in order to maintain and improve AT programs at the Post-Secondary level.
- Professional Development and Training – Professional development and training describes critical features of AT training efforts for all staff and other key players in the AT program.
One of the primary interactive tools developed by QIAT-PS project is the Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix. The Matrix is a descriptive rating scale for each quality indicator. It is intended to be used for internal program evaluation and goal setting to improve AT services and supports. An individual or team using the tool chooses the indicator variation from 1 to 5 which most closely matches their program, 1 being a novice and 5 being expert or advanced. There is a notes section to add details about the matrix the score. With QIAT-PS, you can create a free institutional account that will allow you to keep multiple versions of your Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix results, create comparison reports, and generate an action plans to set goals and receive goal activity reminders.
Emily Hinton, Access Center for Disability Resources Manager at Waubonsee Community College in Illinois shared how her school has used the Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix:
“In the world of social service professionals, many of us are not numbers people, myself included. Much of our data is subjective and comes in the form of anecdotes and perceived trends. So, when I first became aware of QIAT-PS in December, 2015, I was intrigued by the possibility of a tool that could provide quantitative data. The tool also happened to coincide nicely with a newly developed team on campus that I was charged with leading, the Digital/Technology Accessibility Team of the the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The AAC is a cross-functional committee that includes employees from a variety of areas on campus including Business, Operations, Student Development and Instruction.
“The committee first met December, 2013 and primarily focused on physical accessibility needs for our institution’s four campuses. In Fall 2015, the AAC identified that there were additional areas requiring accessibility review and the Digital/Technology Accessibility Team was formed as well a Policy, Procedures and Guidelines Team and Physical Accessibility.
“The development of teams allowed for participation from even more departments. The Digital/Technology Team includes representation from Information Technology, Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (training), Library, Bookstore, Educational Television and Marketing and Communications. This team worked to develop a three-year plan to address digital and technology needs for the institution and provided a framework of projects and tasks to be completed to improve accessibility. It is to this team that I proposed completing the QIAT-PS Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix. The team completed the matrix in Spring 2016, creating baseline data that showed what areas were the most lacking in assistive technology and accessibility and what areas we could easily move the needle. We were able to develop an Action Plan and incorporate it into our three-year plan.
“Fast forward two years to Spring 2018 and we completed the QIAT-PS Campus Self Evaluation Matrix for the second time. We were easily able to compare the matrices in our QIAT-PS account and identify that we had improved in 10 out of 25 indicators (40%)! Our goal is to continue using Action Plans created through the Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix to inform our ongoing three-year plan. It is an excellent way to keep momentum moving in accessibility improvements and ultimately result in a better student experience.”
To sign up for a free account and use the Campus Self-Evaluation matrix, visit QIAT-PS. Please contact Janet Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-413-5931 to request an onsite training for the QIAT-PS tools.