UMKC logo

Join us September 25, 2018

OLC Collaborate - Kansas City
Breaking Barriers: Institutional Strategies
for Accessibility in Digital Learning
Hosted by UMKC

OLC is heading to Kansas City to meet with online learning professionals, educators, and administrators to address the opportunities and challenges we all face regarding digital accessibility and higher education today.

Join us to discuss emerging trends and challenges in online learning.

Join your fellow digital learning education professionals, educators, and administrators to network with experts and collaborate on solving the accessibility challenges we all face in online higher education today. You’ll get the chance to hear from regional experts regarding current and emerging trends in accessibility policy and implementation. Come collaborate and network with your regional peers during group discussions on strategizing, designing, and incorporating accessibility at your institution. Examine changes that impact the future of online learning – and your career.



Member Pricing
Our one day event is only $150* for academic registrants who are OLC members.  The rate for corporate registrants who are OLC members is $595.  Membership discount applied upon registration. Lunch is included in registration fee. 

*A $50 fee will be charged for all cancelled registrations. Refund requests must be made in writing to Online Learning Consortium. Cancellation by August 28 (up to 1 month out): Refund of payment minus the $50 cancellation fee(s). Cancellation between August 29 and September 10: 50% refund will be issued less a $50 administrative/cancellation fee for registrations. There will be no refunds within 1 week of event date (cancellations must be received by September 17, 2018). If you are not able to attend, a substitute may attend in your place. The name, title, and email address of the substitute must be emailed to conference@onlinelearning-c.org. If you do not attend the program and do not submit a written refund request, Online Learning Consortium will retain all fees. IF you have not paid in advance but have cancelled your registration, you are responsible for the cancellation fee and will be billed. OLC is not responsible for any change / cancellation charges assessed by airlines, travel agents, hotels or other similar vendors. Email all cancellation requests/substitutions/ registration questions to conference@onlinelearning-c.org.

Institutional Members
If your institution is a member, you must have an individual user account. Register as a free OLC Community Member and affiliate with your member institution.

Not yet a member?
The academic non-member registrant fee is $200*. The rate for corporate registrants who are not OLC members is $695.  Lunch is included in registration fee. 

Register Today

Engaging speakers, relevant topics, and dynamic discussions

We will take a deep look at the challenges and impact of digital accessibility in education today and work together to collaborate, define and help shape the changing university.

Presentations will be followed by facilitator-led discussions that will allow participants to delve into each topic in greater detail.

Breakout Topics:
  • Breakout A – Coming soon
  • Breakout B – Coming soon
  • Breakout C – Coming soon
Kelly Hermann

Baking In vs. Bolting On: Strategizing Accessibility

Kelly Hermann

Vice President of Accessibility and Disability Strategy
University of Phoenix

There has been increased attention and interest in digital accessibility since the first guidance related to digital products and accessibility hit the press after the Kindle lawsuits in 2010. Institutions were caught off guard and started scrambling to figure out how to ward off the coming onslaught of complaints and requests to make digital activities accessible. Many found themselves asking, “Surely, everything online should just work for students with disabilities, right?” There certainly was more that we didn’t know about accessibility than we did know. And while we have come a long way since then, the ambiguity around what exactly is and isn’t required still causes considerable anxiety and risk management concerns. So, where to start? We will identify the key components of institutional accessibility strategies and share best practices for integrating accessibility throughout the institution from procurement to course design to professional development and accommodating students’ individual needs.

Breakout Topics:
  • Breakout A – Coming soon
  • Breakout B – Coming soon
  • Breakout C – Coming soon
Sean Smith

Presentation title coming soon

Sean Smith

Professor, School of Education
University of Kansas

Abstract coming soon.

Breakout Topics:
  • Breakout A – Coming soon
  • Breakout B – Coming soon
  • Breakout C – Coming soon
Cyndi Rowland

Digital Accessibility and Institutional Improvement. Professional Development is a Key

Cyndi Rowland

Executive Director
WebAIM at Utah State University

Once you have committed to making digital accessibility a reality, there are many things that must occur within your institution. Certainly, you need a policy and implementation roadmap to get started. Of course, you will also need to figure out that pesky procurement issue too. Finally, you will want to monitor your successes and challenges over time. Yet at the core of all of this work to shift, and sustain, web accessibility is getting a workforce who have the skills they need. As such, professional development will be key to your success.

Clearly technical team members will need retooling for their work in accessibility. Yet these web developers and designers are only the tip of the iceberg. Faculty and staff are content creators for much of the web in education. For example, in online learning it is typically faculty that upload Word and PowerPoint files for their courses. It is often staff that develop and upload student resources or policies as PDFs. It is institutional researchers that share Excel or Stata data files and charts they produced with one another. Simply put, if you do not focus on broad-based professional development, your accessibility initiatives are doomed from the start.

This session will focus on strategies others are using as they implement professional development systems across the enterprise on accessibility. This task has been likened to herding cats. Let’s talk about ways that can lead you to success.

Devon Cancilla

Some Things My Institution Should Know About Accessibility


Devon Cancilla

Chief Knowledge Officer
Online Learning Consortium

The online classroom is only one aspect of a larger digital ecosystem that makes up an educational institution. Digital interactions with the institution begin from the moment a potential student starts the search for the perfect school to years after graduation as an alumni. Each interaction along this continuum impacts both the individual and institution and can facilitate a culture of lifelong learning. However, this requires an integrated, inclusive and accessible digital strategy and the mindful development of supporting resources across the student/faculty/staff user experience. For example, an online student needing closed captioned video lectures to succeed in an online class has the same need when viewing a video produced as part of new student orientation explaining how to register for courses. Although there will always be unintended obstacles to student success, working to understand the student experience as broadly as possible and then to develop a holistic approach to student success and accessibility in a digital environment are essential.

In this session, participants will have the opportunity to hear about the student perspective. Students will describe their experiences navigating the digital campus and will provide insights into thinking about unintended obstacles to student success and how institutions can think more broadly about accessibility.

Conversations Around Innovation

What will teaching, learning, and working in the Digital Age of Higher Education actually be like in the future?  How much should today’s faculty and administrators do to prepare for this future? There is no question that extraordinary change is coming.  The question is, how much of that change is within our powers of prediction, and how should we proactively prepare for the future?

Participate in the regional OLC Collaborate discussion on the “Changing University” and share in an open dialogue with other colleagues from around the region.

Keynote speakers will offer insightful views of the changing university through short, focused presentations. This will bring together how the use of technologies, the dictate of economic realities, increasing regulatory oversight, the need for constant innovation, and new societal expectations of what colleges can and should be are bringing change to higher education.

Presentations will be followed by facilitator-led discussions to allow participants to delve into each topic in greater detail.  OLC Collaborate session archivists will document the discussions throughout the day, culminating in a collaborate regional response to the changing university. 

What will teaching, learning, and working in the Digital Age of Higher Education actually be like in 2025?

What will teaching, learning, and working in the Digital Age of Higher Education actually be like in 2025?

What will teaching, learning, and working in the Digital Age of Higher Education actually be like in 2025?

Event Schedule


7:30am - 8:15am Registration and Check-in; Breakfast Kauffman Foundation Conference Center Lobby
8:15am - 8:30am Welcome and Opening Remarks
- Molly Mead, UMKC
- Devon Cancilla, OLC
Town Square
8:30am - 9:15am General Session 1: Exploring the Student Experience Town Square
9:30am - 10:15am General Session 2: Strategy & Policy
- Kelly Hermann, University of Phoenix
Town Square
10:30am - 11:15am Breakout Sessions 2
Troost, Brush Creek, Paseo
11:30am - 12:15pm General Session 3: Universal Design
- Sean Smith, University of Kansas
Town Square
12:15pm - 1:00pm Lunch and Networking Town Square
1:00pm - 1:45pm Breakout Sessions 3
Troost, Brush Creek, Paseo
2:00pm - 2:45pm General Session 4: Professional Development & Improvement
- Cyndi Rowland, WebAIM at Utah State University
Town Square
3:00pm - 3:45pm Breakout Sessions 4
Troost, Brush Creek, Paseo
3:45pm - 4:00pm Program Wrap Up
Town Square

Collaborate General Sessions are 45 minutes long, followed by 45 minute Collaborate Breakout Sessions.  

Attendees will select one of several breakout sessions to attend following each general session.

All sessions are considered BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). 

All sessions are held at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO and are in Central Time (CT).


Joining us for OLC Collaborate? Come directly to The Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO.

The Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110

Staying the night or making a weekend of it?

Kauffman Foundation Conference Center Map (coming soon) and get Driving Directions (google) 

Make your reservations to stay in a nearby hotel.


Interested in future regional event announcements?

Join Us in Kansas City

UMKC logo


UM System 5 seals logo






If you are an education technology or distance learning company, this intimate one-day session will give you the chance to collaborate with educators, administrators, and online learning professionals – your potential clients in discussion forums, at lunch and in our small exhibitor showcase. 

To learn more, contact our Manager, Sponsorship Sales, Brenda Weiss-Pesta by email, brenda.pesta@onlinelearning-c.org or by phone, 617.716.1417.