Accessibility Specialist

Suffolk University is a private, urban university located in the heart of downtown Boston. Our college green is the Boston Common and we are steps from dozens of historic sites including the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, City Hall and the Massachusetts State House. We have no real boundaries to our campus—Boston and Suffolk blend together.

Suffolk has been committed to creating an exceptional learning experience since 1906. Our vision is to be recognized as a dynamic institution that fosters engaged learning, rigorous scholarship, innovative thinking, and community collaboration across disciplines. We will ensure that Suffolk graduates are versatile and prepared for modern society and the new world market. We will provide rich curricula, experiential learning opportunities and professional mentoring through increased collaboration with alumni and community partners. We will recruit, mentor, and support a diverse faculty of teacher-scholars who are passionately committed to preparing our students to be leaders in the global community. We will inspire investment in a Suffolk community that is built on ethical, forward-thinking leadership, teamwork, and cooperation.

We compete for the best talent. We are an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse community. We are actively seeking applicants from groups that might be under-represented because of race/color, gender, religion, real or perceived disability, national origin or LGBTQ status. As part of our commitment we encourage you to complete the demographic portion of the application in addition to submitting your cover letter and resume/CV as it will assist us in targeting our recruitment efforts.

Please note that Suffolk University conducts background checks as a condition of employment.

We are also committed to the well-being of our employees. Our terrific benefits package for benefits-eligible positions include, but are not limited to:
  • Generous paid time-off programs and commitment to work-life balance
  • Tuition free course benefits in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Sawyer Business School for employees with additional tuition benefits for spouses, domestic partners, and children
  • Top-notch well-being care available through Harvard Pilgrim Medical/Delta Dental and a Flexible Spending Account
  • Pre-tax commuter benefit
  • Employee Assistance Program that provides employees and their family members with initial assessment, referrals and short-term counseling for personal and work challenges
  • Discounted home and auto insurance

  • Description

    Position Summary:

    The Accessibility Specialist of Disability Services is responsible for the coordination and implementation of access and accommodation services 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. Specific accommodations include, but are not limited to, exam proctoring and note taking. The Accessibility Specialist will be responsible for ensuring the institutional endeavor of creating an inclusive environment by serving on a campus-wide team during the vetting process of electronic information technology. The Accessibility Specialist will also assist in the accessibility testing and remediation of content that is to be created and maintained for use within the institution’s web ecosystem. Additionally the Accessibility Specialist will ensure that any Suffolk student requiring accessible course materials receive them in a timely fashion.

    Primary Duties/Responsibilities

    Accessibility Management:

    • 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 one is present.
        • 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.
    • Convert print and electronic materials to accessible formats for students with print-related disabilities.
    • 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.


    Direct Student Contact:

    • Meet with students to determine their individual alt-text needs. Provide training on how to access the alt-text when delivering the content to the student.
    • Meet with students to determine assistive technology (AT) needs and provide training on those services.


    Community Education and Collaboration:

    • Provide trainings on alt-text, accessibility, use of Assistive Technology, etc. for students, staff, and faculty.
    • Create training materials, such as Panopto videos, guidelines for accessing text in various formats and best practice guides for faculty.


    Administrative Responsibilities:

    • Supervising the work study student team works with the DS office.
    • Oversite of 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.


    Professional Development:

    • Continuously research and maintain professional knowledge of the latest assistive technology for facilitating information access, bringing recommendations regarding acquisitions to Director.
    • Attend Student Success Divisional staff meetings. Assist with duties/tasks designated by Supervisor to support Student Success divisional initiatives and committees.
    • Attend professional development events or presenting at these events, if they enhance the knowledge of alt-text production.


    Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree.
    • Excellence communication and customer service skills.
    • 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 population, 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.
    • Ability to assess and adapt to needs of individual students.


    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


    Suffolk University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. The University is dedicated to the goal of building a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff that reflect the broad range of human experience who contribute to the robust exchange of ideas on campus, and who are committed to teaching and working in a diverse environment. We strongly encourage applications from groups historically marginalized or underrepresented because of race/color, gender, religious creed, disability, national origin, veteran status or LGBTQ status. Suffolk University is especially interested in candidates who, through their training, service and experience, will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the University community.

    Suffolk University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, genetic information, or status as a veteran in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs, activities, or employment. Suffolk University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. The University is dedicated to the goal of building a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff that reflect the broad range of human experience who contribute to the robust exchange of ideas on campus, and who are committed to teaching and working in a diverse environment. We strongly encourage applications from groups historically marginalized or underrepresented because of race/color, gender, religious creed, disability, national origin, veteran status or LGBTQ status. Suffolk University is especially interested in candidates who, through their training, service and experience, will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the University community.

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