Iowa State Appoints New Digital Accessibility Coordinator

Nov 08, 2018
Cyndi Wiley, a tenured professor and chair of art and design at Grand View University, has been named Iowa State University’s new digital accessibility coordinator following a nationwide search. In her new role, Wiley will help to ensure that Iowa State online resources and technologies comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state laws governing access.


Wiley’s appointment reflects the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through ensuring students, faculty, staff, and guests do not encounter barriers with computing or information technology systems and resources. The digital accessibility coordinator position was created in 2016 to assist the campus community with implementing the university’s digital accessibility policy and plan. Wiley is the second individual to serve in the role, and she succeeds Zayira Jordan, who left Iowa State in February 2017. 


“Filling this role is essential to our commitment to everyone on campus, through providing a robust, accessible pathway to our digital media and operations,” Director of Equal Opportunity Margo Foreman said. “It brings us closer to this idea of universal design, where we start thinking about how we ease the pathways for individuals to gain knowledge. We become healthier as a campus when we’re able to do that.”

                                   Iowa State University's new Digital Accessibility Coordinator Cyndi Wiley. Photo courtesy of Christopher Gannon

Wiley holds a doctorate in human computer interaction and a master’s degree in graphic design, both from Iowa State. Most recently, Wiley served as a tenured professor at Grand View University in Des Moines, teaching graphic design, game design, interactive media, and user experience coupled with digital accessibility. Wiley also stepped into the role of chair of art and design in 2015.


“A lot of universities are trying to make digital accessibility a priority, but resources to bring that intention to life are often limited,” Wiley said. “Having a full-time position to help guide the legal compliance issues of digital accessibility, and work with all people across campus who need to access information online and via screen, shows Iowa State’s dedication to making that intention a reality.
“The work itself is important not only for people in art and design, who are considered the typical creators of digital materials. With all the digital tools and mobile access points that we have, colleges and universities are struggling to keep up with appropriate accessible materials. This type of position is definitely one that can address that challenge.”


Wiley will collaborate with web designers, developers, faculty and staff, and testers of user accessibility systems to coordinate campus efforts to provide barrier-free hardware, software applications, web content, web tools and other online and classroom technologies. 


“Wiley has the experience, commitment, and enthusiasm we need to advance our work, ensuring everyone can benefit from all of Iowa State’s digital resources,” Interim Vice President and Chief Information Officer Kristen Constant said.


Wiley will start Nov. 12 on a part time basis, in order to honor her commitment to Grand View University for the rest of the academic year. She will assume the digital accessibility coordinator position full-time in Spring 2019. 


“We are all pleased Wiley will be joining us here at Iowa State as we continue to work together on digital accessibility and inclusion efforts campus-wide,” Student Accessibility Services Director Steven Moats said.