As a Coordinator of Accessibility and Universal Design, Michelle Tuten collaborates with CCIT, Student Accessibility Services, The Office of Access and Equity, and other Clemson faculty and staff to reshape Clemson’s digital presence into an environment that is more welcoming to persons with (and without) disabilities.
Currently focused on the accessibility of Clemson’s online courses, Michelle partners with the ENCORE certification team to encourage faculty to design their online courses in a way that conforms to the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 levels A and AA. Included in these requirements are criteria such as making sure that online videos are captioned, text and background color combinations have a high enough contrast as to be readable, headings are formatted with the Styles or Paragraph menu settings, header cells of data tables are programmatically identified, and more. Meeting these and the other WCAG 2.0 A and AA requirements allows student with disabilities, students with faulty or damaged technology, students from other countries, students with heavily accented professors, and more to learn and be graded on what they learn as opposed to being graded on how well they can access course content.
Outside of the online classrooms, Michelle spends much of her time developing training resources about various digital learning tools and on Accessible Design practices. She also spends a little time testing the accessibility of technologies and services Clemson hopes to procure.
Michelle has earned a Masters of Art in Professional Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and Publications at Clemson. She continues to learn from groups like David Berman Communications, 3Play Media, SC Assistive Technology Program, the SSBart Group, Access Technology in Higher Education Network (ATHEN), and Access South Carolina Information Technology (ASCIT).
Even after hours, Michelle can often be found behind her laptop screen, watching Netflix or YouTube, playing games, or dreaming up tales based on her ever-growing Pinterest collections. When not behind a computer screen, she is often exercising the family dogs or dog and house sitting for friends and colleagues.