Michigan State University Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting (MSU UARC) offers a range of consulting services to governments and community agencies to ensure that they meet the needs of their constituents and meet legal/ADA requirements.
Making sure constituents with disabilities are able to fully utilize services is critical to fully serving your community and to ensuring their civil rights. The U.S. Department of Justice has found that government websites and digital resources must meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA requirements to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
High-Level Accessibility Evaluations
Experts evaluate your website or digital content for critical accessibility violations. Great first step in accessibility compliance, and ideal for procurement (determining accessibility of potential purchases).
Full Accessibility Evaluations
Detailed manual accessibility inspections (which will find issues not caught by automated scanners) of your website or digital content. The best way to ensure ADA compliance!
One-on-one testing with users with disabilities to ensure that they find your services easy to use.
Voting Accessibility Strategy
Advice and system testing to ensure that individuals with disabilities are fully included in elections.
Expert assistance in developing accessibility/ADA strategies and policies.
Ensure that your constituents can easily use the online and digital services you offer. If people have difficulty using your services, they won't use them correctly, or won't use them at all!
High-Level Usability Reviews
Brief expert evaluation or user feedback about your website or digital content's navigation, layout, and aesthetics. A budget-friendly alternative to in-depth reviews, and a first step into usability.
In-Depth Expert Reviews
Detailed expert evaluation of your website or service with recommendations for improvements.
User Focus Groups
Learn about your constituents' goals and what they think about your website or digital service, in order to ensure that your offerings meet their needs.
Discover what happens when real users interact with your services, and get expert analysis and recommendations for enhancement. Ideal way to ensure that your content works for your constituents!
Find out how to structure your content to ensure that it meets your constituents' expectations.
Design, content, and evaluation strategy assistance, and competitive insights from experts.
Background Check Systems
MSU UARC developed, hosts, and maintains the Michigan Workforce Background Check system, which can be customized for your government or organization to conduct background checks.
Examples of Government Projects
State of Michigan
MSU UARC has worked with the State of Michigan on a variety of consulting projects, including usability reviews, focus groups, information architecture evaluations, accessibility evaluations, and surveys for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget; Michigan Department of Transportation; and Michigan Department of Treasury. We evaluated and reviewed the Michigan.gov, Treasury, MDEQ, MI Bridges (Food Assistance), Mi Drive, and MiWaters websites, among others.
Oakland County, Michigan
MSU UARC has worked with Oakland County Information Technology to help formulate accessibility policies and strategies and to provide accessibility training. Our team also made a presentation on accessibility at the G2G Marketplace Day in 2017, hosted by Oakland County. MSU UARC is in the process of becoming a service provider in the G2G Marketplace.
Michigan Background Check System
MSU UARC has spent 10 years developing, hosting, maintaining, and enhancing the Michigan Workforce Background Check system, which is used by the government of the State of Michigan to conduct criminal history and name-based registry checks for applicants and employees in long-term care and child care facilities, and for health professional licensing in the state. MSU UARC's system was the model for the federal government's background check system pilot program.
State of California
MSU UARC worked with the State of California Department of Industrial Relations to assess and address accessibility issues in the Division of Workers' Compensation's online and digital systems for nearly a decade. We conducted evaluations of multiple systems, web applications, forms, and documents, including web apps, PDF documents, and other content. We have also advised on strategies for remediation and enhancement of systems and processes.
Federal, State, and Local Voting System Accessibility
MSU UARC has spent more than a decade conducting research into the accessibility of voting systems for people with disabilities. We have received funding from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and have partnered with or advised the State of Michigan Bureau of Elections and the Meridian Township Clerk's Office, among others. Members of our team also sit on the NIST Voting Systems Human Factors Working Group, helping to revise the federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines requirements for voting system accessibility nationwide.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
MSU UARC worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Department of Agriculture for six years on the Corps Lakes Gateway website and mobile app to enhance users' experiences. We conducted usability evaluations, focus groups, surveys, wireframe designs, and more.
Other Projects and Collaborations
MSU UARC has also worked with the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau; Capital Area Transportation Authority; Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service; Michigan Health Endowment Fund; Geriatric Education Center of Michigan; Michigan Nutrition Network; State of Delaware Background Check Center; Center for Civic Design; Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation; and a wide variety of others, from Fortune 500 multinational corporations to non-profits to MSU departments.