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NIU improves printer access for persons with disabilities

May 27, 2019

A major project has been in the works that will improve accessibility for Huskies who use wheelchairs.

As part of the university’s continued efforts to enhance technology accessibility, printers at 20 locations throughout the DeKalb campus have been modified so they are wheelchair accessible.

“The campus is a little more accessible now and has taken another step toward becoming a center of excellence for disability,” Katy Whitelaw, Information Technology Accessibility Officer, said.  “NIU is committed to accessible technology as part of an accessible campus.”

The project was a collaborative effort between the Gordon Flesch Company, which rents the printers to the university, and the Division of Information Technology.

“The Gordon Flesch Company has been a long-standing partner with the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and the university,” Brian Thompson, director of Integrated Media Technologies, said. “They are always looking for opportunities to improve their services on campus.”

The improvement is significant and was done without purchasing new equipment.

Thompson, Whitelaw and Leslie McCleary of the Gordon Flesch Company worked as a team to determine where to add the accessible printers, and created a plan to modify the height of one existing printer in the Holmes Student Center, the Disability Resource Center, each residence hall and each academic building on campus. There is also an accessible printer in the library.

“The ability to modify the current equipment without incurring additional charges and the timeframe to make these modifications created a bit of a challenge,” McCleary said. “However, all was completed within the requested timeframe and all the goals were accomplished.”  

Visit the Ethics and Compliance Office site for more information on technology accessibility.