Website Administrator, MNIT@MDE
In 2011, Kim was part of a small team at MDE working on redesigning our public-facing website. Before we got started, we learned about accessibility requirements that would be needed on our new site. In 2011, Kim was part of a small team at MDE working on redesigning our public-facing website. Before we got started, we learned about accessibility requirements that would be needed on our new site. Within nine months, Kim became a state leader on website accessibility and we launched our site meeting most if not all, required standards. This work sparked a passion in her to ensure all Minnesotans were able to use our information in the same way, regardless of their disability or special technology needs.
Since that time, Kim has led the build of several websites for MDE with accessibility in mind, including another redesign of our public site. Two of them are listed here:
• MDE public website (https://education.mn.gov)
• Testing 1,2,3 website (https://testing123.education.mn.gov/TEST/index.htm)
Websites are just the beginning. Kim is a leader on several accessibility committees working on topics ranging from how to procure accessible materials to finding the most accessible way to present information using Tableau and other applications.
She shares what she learns with our agency, which has shaped our policy work, changed our processes and procedures, and helped create better accessibility training for staff.
She also works with vendors to help them raise the bar on the accessibility of their products, including Learning Management Systems and report writing applications. Her knowledge of accessibility testing is critical to these endeavors. The work she is doing on the procurement committee will standardize language used in Requests for Proposals and contracts across Minnesota, to better ensure vendors are held accountable for providing agencies with accessible content.
She has presented on accessibility topics at CSUN and the Government IT Symposium on numerous occasions and presents to smaller audiences through the Office of Accessibility and MDE often. Her work serves as a model for others to follow in other agencies and across the nation.
Her learning never stops on the topic of accessibility. Her research keeps her on top of her game in this area and we rely on her expertise every day to ensure we are working from the very latest information available. Her ideas spark changes in processes to make our final products more accessible; she also suggests alternatives that we have used successfully to keep our content available for all.
And when she does not know the answer to your question, she is happy to do the research needed, consult with colleagues, test, and retest, then report back her findings so we can move forward in our efforts.
She is well-regarded by her colleagues at MDE and in other agencies—who also call on her when they need an accessibility expert! We are fortunate to have her on our team.
About GTS Educational Events
If you are a nonprofit or public sector group looking to create a conference, workshop or educational event with impact, look to GTS. We believe educational events are successful when participants learn and grow and then return to their organizations and communities to make them stronger. We look forward to continuing our work with the broad spectrum of organizations striving to make a difference for the people and communities they serve.
Alex Hepp, City of Hopkins
Bill Bleckwehl, Cisco
Dave Andrews, DEED
Jay Wyant, Minnesota IT Services
Jim Hall, Ramsey County
Matt Bailey, IBM
Melissa Reeder, League of Minnesota Cities
Nathan Beran, City of New Ulm
Sue Wallace, IT Futures Foundation
Lisa Meredith, Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative
Justin Kaufman, Minnesota IT Services
Renee Heinbuch, Washington County/MNCITLA
Jerine Rosato, Ramsey County
David Berthiaume, Minnesota IT Services
Cory Tramm, Sourcewell Tech
Tomas Alvarez, Federal Reserve
Tom Ammons, MN.IT – Central
Dave Andrews, MN State Services for the Blind
Susan Bousquet, MN.IT – DOT
Robert Granvin, Metro State
Alex Hepp, City of Hopkins
Shawntan Howell, Ramsey County
Jenny Johnson, Metropolitan Council
Millicent Kasal, MN.IT – Central
Ping Li, MN.IT – MMB
Chibuzor Nnaji, MN.IT – DHS
Mehrdad Shabestari, MN.IT – Central