Tim Offenstein (MS ’11), GSLIS alumnus and adjunct instructor, was recently honored with a Larine Y. Cowan "Make a Difference" Award, which is given annually by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received the award for Excellence in Access and Accommodations, which recognizes either individuals or campus units whose efforts expand and improve the ways in which persons with disabilities can utilize programs and structures at the University.
Offenstein, lead information design specialist at Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES), has served as the campus accessibility liaison for the ITaccess initiative established by the Provost in 2007. He has worked extensively toward web accessibility through the training and education of campus units, assisting them in improving the accessibility and code compliance of their web sites.
Nomination letters highlighted the impact of Offenstein’s achievements on the campus community, including the following testimonials:
In 1999, Tim founded the University of Illinois Webmasters to promote and celebrate accessible design. This includes hands-on workshops, an annual Webmasters Forum conference, a governing committee comprised of highly-committed volunteers, and a mailing list for hundreds of web professionals to share knowledge and promote web design best practices. In Spring 2013, the annual forum will expand from a local event to a regional conference.
Tim has a deep personal and professional commitment to eliminating technical barriers to information and resources so that our students, staff, and faculty can equally participate and excel in teaching, learning, and research.
Offenstein received the award at the 27th annual Celebration of Diversity. He was one of three campus employees honored with the "Make a Difference" Award and recognized for their efforts to create and sustain an "inclusive, respectful, and vibrant living, learning, and working community."