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The Workshop improves accessibility

January 24, 2020

New this semester is improved accessibility in The Workshop. In an effort led by Multimedia Teaching and Learning Librarian, Oscar Keyes, changes have been made to make access to equipment and work stations easier for people with physical challenges. 

Improvements to date include:

  • Consolidated work stations to increase open space for more accessibility for those with mobility challenges;
  • Rearranged the audio studio and moved cables to open space, reduce navigation challenges and keep people from having to crawl around behind the workstation to set up;
  • Rearranging the video studio and replacing furnishings; reorganizing the cables to reduce tripping hazards and streamline usability; simplifying the tools and interfaces to be as accessible as possible to all patrons. 
  • Identified additional opportunities to improve accessibility with advance from VCU Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (SAEO).

Next steps:

  • Rearranging the makerspace to open it and place more equipment, tools, and materials in accessible locations;
  • Modifications to the lower soundproofing sills of the audio, video and gaming studio doors to make the sill more navigable; 
  • Training of Workshop staff to be better able to offer assistance.

Some more significant physical changes might be something will also be pursued. 

In addition, Keyes has already introduced ways to make audio and video studios more friendly for patrons in the early stages of learning to use the creative technologies in the department. Enhancements including easier-to-use microphones that require fewer connections in the audio studio and more simple audio set-up in the video studio. The Workshop team is also exploring new avenues of training for beginners.  

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