There are about 1,100 computer workstations available to students at Humboldt State University. Some of these are single workstations, others are in computing laboratories managed by departments for discipline-specific instruction and use, some are in laboratories managed by Academic Computing and available for general campus use, and others are in facilities managed by service units that provide information and online services to students (e.g., the Testing Center). No matter how these workstations are situated and managed, they must be reasonably accessible. Humboldt has established accessibility guidelines for designing and remodeling computing laboratories (including single workstation labs), furnishing the labs, and configuring the workstations in them. Please see Accessible Workstations for a copy of these guidelines.
It is not atypical for computing labs simply to “appear” on a university campus: a new lab might be created using outside funding (e.g., grants, gifts) or by a department gathering up all its older microcomputers and placing them together in a room. However, this may result in a facility that is not accessible. The only effective approach for ensuring that the design of a new lab or plans for remodeling or upgrading an existing lab will result in a facility that is reasonably accessible is for the lab manager to work with the campus’ experts during the design/planning phase to ensure the lab meets Humboldt’s guidelines: the staffs in Physical Services and the Student Disability Resource Center. Anyone contemplating establishing a new computing laboratory, remodeling an existing laboratory, or placing new furniture in a lab needs to contact Physical Services and the SDRC for guidance. Information Technology Services also can provide assistance with lab design.
Both when assisting in the design of a new or remodeled lab, the SDRC uses a checklist to compare each lab feature (layout, furniture, hardware, software) against the established guidelines. Identifying and correcting problems during the design/planning stage is much easier and less costly then mitigating a problem after the facility is put into production.
Students experiencing accessibility difficulties should contact the lab manager or the SDRC for assistance.