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May 15 2024

Two-day Accessibility Training Workshop by Dr. Gunderson (Part 2)

UIC Accessibility Liaison Training

May 15, 2024

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


UIC Richard J. Daley Library, Room #1-470


801 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607


Free for Accessibility Liaisons

Building an inclusive online learning environment requires understanding the experience of people with disabilities using the web. The four sessions in this workshop provide a foundation for understanding the diverse ways people with disabilities use the web and the technologies and practices to provide equitable access.

Participating in the workshop will provide important context for understanding the requirements of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which is the basis of accessibility standards. Without the experiential context, many of the WCAG requirements are often misunderstood, leading to wasted time by content creators and inaccessible content for users.

The first two sessions are more experiential than technical, so people without technical skills can fully participate. The ARIA sessions are more technical and more appropriate for people with skills in designing, coding, and testing websites.

For more details about the workshop session, please visit the UIC Accessibility Liaison Workshop page.


Day 2 Accessibility Liaison Workshop


Continental Breakfast

We invite all the Accessibility Liaisons for a light continental breakfast! This session will be provided at the Richard J. Daley Library room 1-470.


  • 30 minutes


Introduction to the IT Accessibility Services by Technology Solutions

During this session, the IT Accessibility Team will introduce:

  • Digital Accessibility Consultation Services
  • Accessibility Report Request (Deque) Services
  • Accessibility Exception Request (Procurement) Services
  • Report an ADA IT Accessibility Problem Service


  • 20 minutes


Introduction to UIC Disability Services by Office of Access and Equity

Director of the Disability Resource Center, Sophia Irini Hamilton, ADA Director, Peter Berg will present accessibility services that are provided for students and faculty on campus.


  • 25 minutes


Session 3: Introduction to Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA)

There is a lot of misunderstanding of the ARIA markup being some magical sauce that makes web pages more accessible. Many people apply ARIA markup to web pages with little understanding of how it changes the experience of screen reader users. This often results in content that is actually less accessible since the ARIA feature doesn't exist on the web page, which is confusing to the user. An analogy in the physical environment is opening a door labeled "bathroom", but when you step through the door, you fall into a pool. This session will step-by-step build a simple custom widget to help dispel the magical nature of ARIA. Participants will learn about keyboard focus management, ARIA roles, ARIA properties and states, and supporting high contrast operating system settings in building a checkbox example. They will also compare it to the experience of a standard HTML checkbox using screen readers.


  • 90 minutes

Who will benefit

  • Web designers, programmers, and quality assurance testers

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding how roles, properties, and states are used by screen readers
  • Understanding accessible names and descriptions
  • Keyboard focus


Lunch Break

The box lunch will be provided at the Richard J. Daley Library room 1-470.


  • 60 minutes


Session 4: Understanding ARIA and Keyboard Support

This session takes a deeper dive into how ARIA can be used to make websites more accessible. The terms in the ARIA specification are familiar terms used in web and other user interface design, which can be misleading to people new to ARIA. For example, the "menu" role is often mistakenly applied to lists of navigation links on a web page because the user interface designer or user interface library called it a "menu". In this case, the appropriate ARIA role is "navigation". The "menu" role actually identifies a particular keyboard interaction and relationship with the "menu item" and other related roles. Using the "menu" role in this context is confusing to screen reader users and makes the page less accessible. This session will help participants understand the meaning and use of ARIA roles, properties and states on on web pages to describe the actual behavior of custom widgets. The session will include looking at the use of ARIA web navigation navigational menus. Pages from UIC will be used to demonstrate the proper and improper use of ARIA markup. The session will include a discussion of keyboard focus management techniques and how accessible names and descriptions are calculated.


  • 120 minutes (with 10 minute break)

Who will benefit

  • Web designers, programmers and quality assurance testers

Learning Objectives

  • Managing keyboard focus
  • Choosing roles for describing keyboard interaction
  • Using properties and states
  • Accessible name and description calculation
  • Screen reader support
  • Open Source Web Accessibility evaluation tools



JaEun Jemma Ku

Date posted

Mar 27, 2024

Date updated

May 9, 2024


Jon Gunderson

Dr. Gunderson has over 35 years of experience in technology and disability. He most recently served as the Coordinator of Accessible IT Group in the Division of Disability Resources and Education Services (DRES) at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana for over 25 years. At Illinois he was responsible for helping the campus understand the accessibility issues of its online administrative and instructional resources and worked with campus IT professionals and instructors to improve accessibility. As an undergraduate and graduate student he worked at the Trace Research and Development Center on assistive communication devices and computer access technologies for people with disabilities, including many of the precursors to the built-in accessibility features of modern operating systems. He has participated in the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) since its inception in 1997. He is the past chair of the W3C WAI User Agent Accessibility Working Group and currently participants in the W3C WAI ARA working group. He is a major contributor to the ARIA Authoring Practices and ARIA AT Community Group for testing assistive technologies for ARIA implementation. He develops open-source web accessibility evaluation tools including AInspector for Firefox, OpenA11y Evaluation Library and SkipTo.js project. He has taught numerous online courses and workshops on accessible web design including courses on using the W3C Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) specifications to create accessible web applications. He also presents at national conferences on web accessibility. He is a Certified Web Accessibility Professional (CWAP) from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering (Human Factors) all from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.