Access South Carolina IT (ASCIT), formally known as ATAC, began its work in 2000 when the project was established as a result of a request to state legislators from the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina. The Federation needed assistance in its work with assisting visually impaired or blind citizens connect with the Employment Security Commission in order to obtain accessible computers. The program was funded with the FY2000 Appropriations Bill.
Since 2000, the work of ASCIT has continued through an informal network of state agencies, educational institutions, disability organizations, and private citizen members. An assortment of trainings have been offered throughout the years, some in conjunction with other state training initiatives. The South Carolina Web Testers Program was initiated by ASCIT and today is being administered by Able South Carolina. This program continues to provide expert assistance to a variety of South Carolina businesses as they work to ensure that their online business presences are in line with the latest accessibility guidelines as set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
In February 2017, ASCIT leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Able South Carolina that solidified official collaboration between ASCIT and Able SC.
ASCIT Mission & Goals
ASCIT is focused on the accessibility of electronic and information technology in the state of South Carolina. Its members work to provide education, networking opportunities, and resources for agencies, education institutions, consumers, and other public/private entities.
Valarie D. Byrd, South Carolina Department of Education, served as the ASCIT Program chair and Boris Klaric, Able South Carolina, served as the ASCIT Secretary in 2019.
At this time, ASCIT had 33 active members from the following organizations:
- Able South Carolina
- Clemson University
- Coastal Carolina University
- Midlands Technical College
- Richland School District Two
- South Carolina Department of Education
- South Carolina ETV
- South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind
- South Carolina State Library
- The South Carolina Commission for the Blind
- University of South Carolina, Columbia
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Winthrop University
The purpose of this report is to reflect upon the many accomplishments the ASCIT Program made in 2019.
I am proud to serve as the chair of the ASCIT Program since March 2018. I have been a member of this program since 2016 and enjoy working with the group of knowledge level experts. This program continues to expand accessibility awareness and support throughout the Palmetto State.
Valarie D. Byrd
The purpose of this committee is to coordinate with the Secretary, Chair, and members to maintain membership engagement. This committee is largely responsible for maintaining membership contact information; identifying membership skills; managing a talent repository; recruitment; providing insight on membership retention; soliciting input and feedback on the needs and expectations of members; and welcoming new members. Boris Klaric and Valarie Byrd served as the Membership Committee co-chairs in 2019.
Distributed a membership survey to ASCIT members.
In collaboration with the Communications Committee, created a new online ASCIT membership directory, published via the ASCIT website.
Retained and/or re-engaged 10 previously active members.
The purpose of this committee is to continuously improve ASCIT's internal and external communications through the development and maintenance of ASCIT's brand, website, social media accounts, documents, and other communication tools. This committee is also responsible for externally sharing content for the public about events, resources, and tools related to Information Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility. Michelle Tuten was the Communications Committee chair in 2019.
Created an ASCIT Twitter account.
Posted content on social media accounts on a weekly basis.
Designed custom ASCIT templates.
Added accessibility information for learning management systems, web/video conferencing, and video hosting platforms on the ASCIT website products accessibility page.
In collaboration with the Education and Outreach Committee, developed a PowerPoint template for use by any member presenter facilitating a session for ASCIT or for a group requesting services through the website.
Significantly improved the ASCIT website by developing a number of new pages to help share accessibility information with the public including:
ASCIT Committees page
ASCIT Events page
ASCIT membership directory
ICT Accessibility Language page
Implemented Google Analytics
Outreach and Education Committee
The purpose of the Outreach and Education Committee is to provide accessible technology outreach and educational opportunities. This committee identifies training, presentation, and conference opportunities, and connects ASCIT members who would be the best presenters for those situations with those requesting the service. It works to stay informed of trends in order to develop training based on best practices.
Part of being an active ASCIT member means participating or volunteering for these outreach events, including creating the presentations and monitoring the process for specific due dates (like for conferences and events). The Outreach and Education Committee reports on the successes of those events to ASCIT and helps organize available resources to be posted on the ASCIT website. Valarie Byrd and Matt Polkowsky were the Outreach and Education Committee co-chairs in 2019.
Participated in or lead 13 trainings and workshops.
Participated in two new conferences.
South Carolina Information Technology Directors Association (SCITDA)
South Carolina Conference on Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (SCCITL)
Collaborated with the Communications Committee to develop an ASCIT PowerPoint template for member presenters to use when representing ASCIT at training events.
ASCIT has made great strides in 2019 and we look forward to accomplishing even more in 2020.