Accessibility’s Role in Postsecondary eLearning: A WCET and OLC Partnership

Concurrent Session 1
OLC Session

Brief Abstract

Online education enrollments grow each year. Educational technologies are increasingly finding their ways into the traditional classrooms. Educational technology professionals used to be able to wait and see if any accessibility accommodations were required. What strategies are needed to meet those needs as educational technologies become more ubiquitous? The Online Learning Consortium and WCET are partnering to bring you more advice. Hear updates and come prepared with your questions.


Russ Poulin leads the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, which advocates for effective practices and policies for digital learning in higher education. WCET’s members represent institutions, state agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations from all fifty states. In paying attention to federal, state, and institution policies, he twice represented the distance education and competency-based education communities in federal negotiated rulemaking processes. The Presidents’ Forum, Excelsior College, the National University Technology Network, and the Online Learning Consortium have all recognized Russ for his contributions. He is also partial to movies, cats, and his wife, Laurie. Contact: or @RussPoulin.
Gerard L. Hanley Ph.D. is the Executive Director of MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, and SkillsCommons ( for the California State University, the Director for the Center for Usability for Design and Accessibility and Professor of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach. At MERLOT and SkillsCommons, he directs the development and sustainability of the international consortium and technology strategy to provide open educational services to improve teaching and learning and continues to development the US Department of Labor's open repository of educational resources for workforce development. Gerry's previous positions include Assistance Vice Chancellor for Academic Technology Services at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, the Director of Faculty Development and Director of Strategy Planning at CSU, Long Beach.
Kelly Hermann is the Vice President of Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion for the University of Phoenix. She has oversight of the university's accessibility initiative, including the evaluation and remediation of curricular resources, and disability services office. Prior to joining the University of Phoenix, Kelly was the director of disability services for SUNY Empire State College where she coordinated accommodations for students. She frequently presents at national conferences, such as the Online Learning Consortium, WCET and the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) regarding online learning and accessibility for students with disabilities. She also chairs the standing committee on online and distance education for AHEAD and was the chair of AHEAD’s standing committee on public policy from 2009 to 2013.

Extended Abstract