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Case Study 7.4: Portland State University— An OER Publisher Workflow

In her post on “Improving the Digital Accessibility of OER,” Katy Anastasi outlined a workflow used by Portland State University Libraries when ensuring the accessibility of open textbooks. Anastasi emphasized that accessibility workflows are iterative by their nature, and that they change depending on available resources, time commitments, platforms and tools. For Anastasi working in 2020, an accessibility workflow went as follows:


  • Scan and plan: Review an open textbook as a Word document and identify potential barriers to accessibility. Meet with supervisors and determine key obstacles, goals, and available time commitments.


  • Address known obstacles to accessibility: Work to resolve issues using an Accessibility Template to track the work. Check all work with the Word accessibility checker.


  • Export to PDF: Once the Word file is finalized, export to PDF and make last adjustments to reading order, document metadata, and tagging.


  • Import into Pressbooks: Once the PDF is complete, import the Word file into Pressbooks and double-check accessibility of that format.


  • Share results and run user tests: Collect information about how people are using documents.


Note that in PSU’s workflow, they spent more time correcting formats that they expected to be used more heavily. When you are creating your own workflow, available time and resources may likewise guide your choices when you determine which issues to address first and which processes to prioritize.


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Case Study 7.4: Portland State University— An OER Publisher Workflow by Talea Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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