Software development graduate analyzes website accessibility for Indiana University

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BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech graduate Tiana Deckard did not always plan for a career in information technology (IT), but developed her career path at Ivy Tech Community College. Deckard graduated in 2016 with associate degrees in computer information systems and software development, and quickly found employment at Indiana University’s Office of User Experience.

“My original plan was to get a degree in business,” said Deckard. “When I discovered the computer information systems and software development degrees, I fell in love with the idea of working with computers. I just wanted to be a computer geek that knew software but that turned into so much more.”

Deckard’s job title at Indiana University is accessibility analyst, and she analyzes webpages to make sure they are accessible by people of all abilities.

“The overall goal is to make sure that everyone can access university websites,” said Deckard. “For example, I have the ability to use a keyboard, mouse, touch screen devices, but others may not have that same ability.”

Deckard primarily reviews websites with NVDA (non-visual desktop access) screen-reading software, to ensure that vision-impaired people can access university websites. She also reviews website code to make sure it is valid and accessible.

“What I learned at Ivy Tech helped me gain this job as an accessibility analyst, and has allowed me to wiggle my way into other things at IU,” said Deckard. “I learned HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Java, Python, some frameworks, and even a little bit of C. Overall, I’ve learned how things should work with computers which gives me a better ability to tackle problems that may arise in the future.”

Deckard is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Indiana University, specifically focusing on artificial intelligence (AI). She said that her Ivy Tech education is also benefitting her studies.

“Ivy Tech is still pushing me forward,” she said. “I now have goals to work in the AI field and do may own research and development.”

Ivy Tech Community College offers eight associate degrees in information technology, and many short-term certifications. Information can be found at ivytech.edu/computers.

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