Disability Initiatives & Accessibility Expectations at Today’s Institutions

By: Danielle Chazen

Accessibility and inclusion are no longer under the jurisdiction of a university’s disability department alone. However, individuals in direct disability and accessibility roles can provide other university stakeholders with a great deal of knowledge, experience and findings to ensure they’re setting their schools and students up for success.

Professionals and faculty across all aspects of the university must take note as the expectations are much greater to offer accessible learning environments which support students with varying needs and learning styles.

With more video being used in class, more online and social marketing materials being used to attract prospective students and more virtual learning becoming the norm, individuals across the university must learn how to ensure content being released is accessible. Passing the onus over to the head of the school’s disability department is no longer an acceptable option.

“With the evolving landscape of course design and delivery of instruction, it is imperative that we continue to identify barriers that exist for students with disabilities and strategize new and fresh ways to help our students,” said Leigh Culley, Director of Disability Resources and Services, University of Pittsburgh. “And with that comes a daily undertaking of understanding the facets of inclusivity, which includes embracing universal design principles to allow all students to fully engage in the learning environment.”

Join your peers live at EduALL: Making Higher Education Work for All Students on April 22nd, as we host Culley and Amanda Jackson, Assistant Director for Assistive Technology Services, University of Florida to inspire school leaders with their success stories and accessibility initiatives.
EduALL virtual event bannerThe virtual event will begin at 10am, and this session – our second – will begin at 10:45am to explore how to become a champion for students with reported disabilities and learning needs, as well as uncover ways to serve additional students and audiences who aren’t reporting or can benefit from more inclusive videos, online courses, events and more at your school.

Attendees will be inspired by the new and ongoing disability and inclusivity initiatives being spearheaded by Jackson at the University of Florida, and Culley at the University of Pittsburgh

The theme of their 30-minute session is essentially shifts. They’ll discuss all of the shifts they’re experiencing in the realm of disability, accessibility and inclusion on both of their campuses, while offering education remotely, hosting virtual graduation ceremonies and more.

This interactive panel will also feature live polling and audience questions so you can get to hear from not only these speakers, but your peers and get actionable advice based on your top-of-mind accessibility challenges.
woman sitting on her bed with a laptop on her lap and a dog sleeping beside herJackson and Culley will showcase how they’re utilizing helpful technologies and strategies that engage all students and drive acceptance of differing learning styles and preferences. They’ll also showcase how a variety of students, such as international students, can benefit from services and tools they’re using from Verbit and other ed-tech innovators.

“Come hang out with us as we chat about the shifts that we are experiencing within disability services supporting collegiate students with disabilities in higher education,” Jackson said. “We have experienced great growth in collaborations from key stakeholders around campus that have driven accessibility to be at the forefront of conversations. We are excited to get to spend some time with you as we all innovatively support students during their educational journeys.”
EduALL direction in disability event banner

The session will be moderated by Dr. Misty Cobb of Verbit who is a leading expert in education and works daily with universities to ensure their courses are accessible to students and ADA-compliant.