The “DH For All” workshop will be a full-day workshop on July 8th in Utrecht, Netherlands, 8AM-6PM, as a pre-conference workshop at the Association of Digital Humanities Organization annual conference (July 8th-12th).
To sign up for the workshop, make sure to register for the conference: https://noq.caos.nl/forms/DH2019/application
To sign up for the workshop, go here: https://dh2019.adho.org/workshops/
Within the digital humanities, principles of accessibility remain marginal to project development, pedagogy, and research. The body of literature on accessibility (pertaining to making resources usable to those with disabilities) is very limited, with George H. Williams’ “Disability, Universal Design, and the Digital Humanities” (2012) being the most cited American chapter on the subject (published in Debates in the Digital Humanities). Within emerging technologies for digital methods, accessibility features are often non-existent, at best an afterthought. Yet established and innovative methods of accommodation for computational technology and media are absolutely necessary to take into consideration from the get-go. As digital methods become more widely used, it is vital that familiarity with web accessibility standards, like W3C’s Web Content and Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), along with concepts like universal design and multimodality be explicated and propagated to ensure that the wide-array of digitally produced scholarship and pedagogic practices reach users with a diverse range of learning abilities.
8:00am – 8:15am: Set up
8:15AM – 8:45am: Group Introductions
8:45am – 9:00am: Outline of Workshop
9:00am – 10:00am: Introducing Digital Project Management (Lecture with Q&A discussion)
10:00am – 10:15am: Break
10:15am – 11:00am: Scoping a Digital Project (Exercise)
11:00am-12:00pm: Designing Accessible Digital Projects (Lecture with Q&A discussion)
12:00am – 13:30pm: Lunch
13:30pm – 14:00pm: Discussion
14:00pm – 15:00pm: Performing a Gap Analysis (Exercise)
15:00pm – 15:15pm: Break
15:15pm – 16:00pm: Developing Accessible Digital Projects (Lecture with Q&A Discussion)
16:00pm – 16:45pm: Accessible VR Demo (Exercise)
16:45pm – 17:00pm: Break
17:00pm – 18:00pm: The Future of Accessible DH (Discussion)
No equipment is required, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptop to engage with relevant digital resources.
This workshop will open with an introduction to designing digital projects for a wide range of applications, from research to teaching. We will explore applications of digital technology in academic contexts, before discussing the obstacles and opportunities present in diverse situations. Using a few exemplary case studies of digital projects in major sectors of digital humanities research and pedagogy (such as text mining, mapping, and 3D modeling), we will assess diverging strategies for project design and implementation. While examining these case studies, we will also discuss strategies for setting minimum goals, scaffolding phases of the project, and taking into consideration not only user design, but also project workflow that enables collaborative, active-learning for assistant researchers and students alike.
In the first part of this workshop, after considering standards for research and pedagogy, we will consider obstacles within different institutions (from research universities to regional colleges), as well as the role of digital scholarship centers and media services for fostering experimentation with emerging technology. While assessing the obstacles for developing digital practices at scale, we will conclude the first section of our workshop by discussing what principles were not accounted for within our case study activity, with the goal of examining how complex designing projects for research and pedagogy can become when attempting to consider accessibility, inclusion, and usability.
The second part of this workshop is built around clarifying and differentiating the core concepts of accessibility, inclusion, and usability as defined by W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative. Accessibility is often used as a catch all term for multiple concepts. Often, when used, it is referring to increased availability to members of underrepresented groups, or some other form of inclusion, as opposed to the elimination of the barriers that exclude users with disabilities. Attendees will be provided with definitions of these concepts before being given an overview of the structure and documentation underlying WCAG. Universal Design and multimodal systems will be discussed as design frameworks that enable and support these core concepts. We will explore seven criteria that can guide us through the activity of assessing digital projects. These criteria will be presented in the form of a rubric to guide attendees in analyzing for whom projects are designed and whether or not that they are appropriately integrating accessible, inclusive, and usable practices at the foundation. Emphasis will be placed on integration and avoiding costly and inefficient remediation, or legal action, later on.
In the final part of this workshop, through the lens of the case studies, we will explore the challenges developers would encounter implementing these concepts, as well as development strategies for overcoming these obstacles in a wide range of media, from web-based resources to immersive technology. Attendees will get a more in-depth look at some WCAG guidelines as we step through the intent (what you are trying to accomplish), benefits (who will benefit and how they benefit), and examples provided by W3C. We will explore common failures to integrate accessible design in our case studies, while focusing on how to evaluate the success criteria to determine if the guidelines are being followed. There will also be discussions around the reality of available resources, including not only technology but also labor, such as development staff, digital scholarship consultants, and accessibility specialists. Assessing available resources will allow project managers to properly scale the recommendations we make to better suit individual projects.
At the end of this workshop attendees should understand the range of digital projects and their obstacles, grasp the difference between accessibility, inclusion, and usability, appreciate the principles of universal design and multimodal system design, and have familiarity with the WCAG documents, guidelines, and available resources. After discussing common failures and success criteria for implementing accessible design in the digital humanities, we will open the floor for questions and discussion around the challenges and strategies for ensuring that participants can bring what they learn during our workshop about accessible, inclusive, and usable digital projects back to their home institutions, integrating these strategies into their curriculum and research protocols.
Jasmine Clark is a Resident Librarian at Temple University doing rotations in digital scholarship, library administration, metadata and digitization services. Her primary areas of research are accessibility and metadata in emerging technology. Currently, she is co-leading The Virtual Blockson, a project to recreate the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection in virtual reality, while also doing research in 3D metadata and the development of Section 508 compliant guidelines for virtual reality experiences. She has experience in a variety of functional areas and departments, including metadata, archives, digital scholarship, and communications and development. She is interested in the ways information organizations can integrate accessible, inclusive practices into their services, hiring, and management practices. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordan Hample functions as Temple University’s Digital Scholarship Center R&D department, researching and testing new technology and software to add to the DSC’s ever-growing collection. He also develops many of the DSC’s software projects. With a background in programming and graphic design, his focus is on D and VR game development using mainly Unity Game Engine. Before working in the DSC, Jordan worked for the Camden County Library System where he managed their mobile website development as well as designing and creating their iOS and Android apps. Contact: email@example.com
Dr. Alex Wermer-Colan works as a Council of Library and Information Resources Postdoctoral Fellow in Temple University’s Digital Scholarship Center. Alex mentors graduate students, designs the center’s programming, runs workshops on digital methods and tools, and develops projects to expand the center’s role in the university. Alex’s research has led to multiple large-scale projects, including the Virtual Blockson project to teach primary source literacy with immersive technology, and a project to digitize mass-market science fiction to curate copyrighted literature online. He is currently organizing with his CLIR cohort the Immersive Pedagogy Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University, and will be running a series of workshops at conferences on digital pedagogy and design in the coming year. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org