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EOWG Self Introduction

From: Bakken, Brent <brent.bakken@pearson.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:14:02 -0600
Message-ID: <CAE6qf-E4G_r7OsjfWH_xdtJgxuNKv6d-SWdq9Be39hMBrEakuQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Hello EOWG Members,

As of yesterday, I am the newest member or the Education and Outreach
Working Group. I am glad to be able to join this group and am looking
forward to offering my perspective and assistance in any way. I am writing
this as a quick introduction of myself as I will soon be attending the
standing meetings.

My name is Brent Bakken and I currently work at Pearson as a Senior
Implementation Project Manager in the assessment division of the company.
In brief, my job is to help make the transition of implementing high stakes
assessment from paper to online as smooth as possible for our United States
customers. My department is the Online and Technology Implementation group
and my focus for the last two years has been on accessibility, online
accommodations, and assistive technology. We are working very diligently at
Pearson to incorporate accessibility throughout all development and deliver
processes. We have been focusing a lot of efforts lately on implementing
WCAG and WAI-ARIA in our assessment platform.

My background is education. I began my career in a large school district in
Houston, Texas. I still reside in Houston and work for Pearson remotely.
Initially I was an elementary teacher for a few years. After moving out of
the classroom, I was the Coordinator and then eventually the Director of
Educational Technology in the district. My main role was helping teachers
understand how to integrate the use of technology as both a teaching and
learning tool in the classroom with all content instead of using computers
just because they had a lab and were supposed to give students "computer
time." In this role I designed, developed, and delivered a lot of
professional development to all district stakeholders, including parents.

After 17 years in the district, I ventured out to work for one of Texas'
Education Service Centers. During my time there I was involved in helping
some State Education Agencies, including Texas, start up their Virtual
School programs. The majority of my work focused on evaluating their online
course offerings for quality based on the iNACOL *National Standards for
Quality Online Course. *Delivering the quality reports, I would then work
with the course providers and developers to improve their courses to meet
these standards. This work put me in the position to Chair a national
committee to re-write and improve the iNACOL standards so that course were
even more rigorous and well rounded.

As part of the iNACOL standards for quality, there is a criteria that
points to and measures the accessibility of an online course for all
students. Because online courses were generally not developed with access
for all in mind, we spent quite a bit of time working with providers to
understand the WCAG 2.0 and retrofitting their courses and content to
follow these standards as closely as possible. It was/is always a work in

This is the point in my career when I started to learn more about
accessibility and assistive technologies. This also led to my position at
Pearson working internally to make our assessment platform more accessible
and to implement international guidelines and conduct usability testing. I
am not a technical person in terms of coding for accessibility. My strength
lies with teaching people about accessibility and helping them have a
deeper understanding of why it is important to all people and how to start
addressing it within their jobs. I am an advocate for people with
disabilities and try to put the focus of my work on the end user.

I am looking forward to working with you in what capacity I can, and I hope
to be an asset to this group.

Looking forward to meeting all of you,
*Brent A. Bakken*
Sr. Implementation Project Manager
Online Implementation Services

(512) 202-1087

Always Learning
Learn more at www.pearsonassessments.com
Received on Thursday, 11 December 2014 22:52:07 UTC

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