[Athen] Metrics to quantify value of AT and Accessibility

Paul Harpur p.harpur at qut.edu.au
Mon May 18 15:56:02 PDT 2009

Gday Mary

If you want to calculate the value why not run a survey of students and ask how much time is being saved by having your services?

If you want to calculate the cost of providing the service perhaps you could calculate how much each staff member costs in 6 minute units and say if a student consultation takes 30 minutes then you can calculate the cost for the university. I suggest 6 minute units as that is what is used in law and accounting.

Don't forget the corporate social responsibility/public relations issues if a university falls below the ADA standard.

Regarding getting information about the potential legal costs of defending an ADA claim perhaps you could contact the NFB. Their Dan Goldstein is a fantastic advocate for the blind and he may have information on the defendant's costs in claims such as National Federation of the Blind v. Target.


-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Mary J. Ziegler
Sent: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 4:48 AM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Metrics to quantify value of AT and Accessibility

Dear Colleagues:

I have been asked to determine both "metrics that quantify the value" and
"unit costs" of the Assistive Technology and Accessibility services provided
by my team.

To date, I have been gathering and providing the following metrics:
- Adaptive Technology consultations and demonstrations, number of.
- Students using our AT Lab, number of
- Accessibility Reviews, number performed
- Average time spent on individual requests (AT demos, trainings, Alt. Media

I have been told these metrics are not good at showing value or cost.
While I can calculate the cost of staff time and equipment, I have been
asked to come up with a "unit" or "item" more directly tied to our work,
such as average time each student costs or average cost per accessibility
review. Then, I need to tie a metric to it that measures the value of that
expenditure to the Institute. It seems I must come up with hard numbers to
back up our mission; clearly stating the legal mandates directing our
services has not helped to exempt me from this exercise. (Is there such a
thing as published costs of lawsuits?)

Alas, I would greatly benefit from hearing what metrics you gather and pass
on to administrators regarding your Assistive Technology and Accessibility
work and/or any advice you have on responding to this directive. Thank you
in advance... all advice is appreciated!


Mary J. Ziegler
Team Leader, Adaptive Technology Information Center (ATIC)
MIT Information Services and Technology (IS&T)
ATIC Room 7-143
maryz at mit.edu

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