Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Accessibility Champions

 Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity logo

Creating excellent learning experiences for each student

We believe that the joy of learning, the freedom to grow, and the benefits of education are fundamental human rights at a university. Accessibility of course materials and Universal Design for Learning is essential for providing an equitable and inclusive learning environment for all Cal Poly Pomona students.

For that reason, in 2019, the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) began a new initiative called eLearning Accessibility Champions (EACH), an initiative that would promote the intrinsic values that Cal Poly Pomona embraces.

In 2020, we are re-introducing it to the campus as Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity (CHAI). This name change will reflect the ideals of Cal Poly Pomona more fully, not only addressing the different types of accessibility issues but other barriers to education.

Faculty who are willing to put in the very personal work to use universal design principles and make their course materials accessible because they believe that all students deserve a fair shot, they are our heroes.

The Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity project allows us to recognize heroes and help other faculty become heroes. We want to create a network of empathy towards students who benefit from universal design and accessible course materials and towards faculty who provide those materials.

Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity will:
  • Provide feedback to CAFE about the Fundamentals of Accessibility eCertificate, an all-new asynchronous, self-paced introductory course currently in development
  • Attend a beginning-of-semester “kick off” and follow-up monthly meetings (< 1 hour each) with CAFE to plan and review program details and strategies.
  • Offer at least one accessibility and one Quality Assurance related workshop per semester for your college, tailored to address your colleagues’ specific concerns. You can combine them into one session, as long as both topics are thoroughly covered. CAFE will help with content and logistics.
  • Send regular outreach (3-4 times per semester) messages to your college about accessibility, Quality Assurance, and CAFE resources. CAFE will provide template messages for you to customize.
  • Achieve an overall Blackboard Ally score of 85% or greater for at least one of your courses that is web-enhanced, hybrid, or online. CAFE will help you track this.
  • Nominate future Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity!

    We anticipate that being a Champion for Accessibility and Inclusivity will require at least 30 hours over the academic year and may be more if your course materials need a lot of work to reach the 85% Ally score. That sounds like a lot of time but it’s only about three hours per month and you will get a ton of support. Keep reading…

This program is incredibly important to us. We believe that all students deserve an equal shot at success no matter what. To this end, CAFE will support you in many ways:

  • You’ll get professional development funds of $2,000 (partially supported by the Chancellor’s Office): 
    • $1,000 - Any time during the academic year upon achieving an overall Blackboard Ally score of 85% or greater for a single course 
    • $1,000 - Achievable at the end of Spring semester upon completion of other activities (must be completed in time for fiscal year deadlines) 
      • Contribute to Fundamentals of Accessibility eCertificate 
      • Attend monthly meetings 
      • Facilitate workshops each semester 
      • Send college outreach messages 
      • Nominate future Champions for your college 
    • Enhanced student assistance (Studio 6) and instructional design support for your classes. 
    • Campus recognition via outlets such as PolyCentric articles, the CAFE newsletter, and the CAFE Summer Institute. Plus, this is a university level service opportunity.

We’re looking for both full-time faculty or part-time faculty with a one-year contract who can commit to the program for the academic year. Champions need to teach at least one course in the academic year as online, hybrid, or web-assisted. Champions need to be enthusiastic Blackboard users!

To apply, fill out the online CHAI Application form.