Launching a Successful Digital Accessibility Initiative

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Recognizing gaps in practice and best practices in T/L relating to digital accessibility, areas of optimal improvement were located and countered, resulting in significant positive impacts in overall accessibility in the digital space. Using a faculty incentive and training program served as the foundation for a culture of accessibility in a campus environment.

Presenters

Sherri Restauri, Ph.D., Director of the Coastal Office of Online Learning, Coastal Carolina University Sherri currently serves as the Director of the Coastal Office of Online Learning at Coastal Carolina University. She is an Associated Faculty with the Psychology Department at CCU, and specializes in teaching child, adolescent, and adult development classes. Sherri has served in academia within the field of online learning for over 20 years in the role of instructional designer, LMS administrator, faculty member,, and administrator. In addition to her work with Coastal, Sherri also serves the MERLOT organization as the Editor of the Professional Coaching board, as well as an editorial board member and peer reviewer for the Psychology MERLOT board. Her research focuses on methods for improving student success in the academic environment, to include all modalities of learning (online, face-to-face, hybrid, flipped, etc.). She has worked as a consultant for a number of organizations to support the development of digital learning initiatives.

Extended Abstract

Over the last 3-5 years, an increasing focus in higher education has occurred around the topics of universal design, inclusivity, accessibility, equity, and diversity of learners. The increasingly complex digital resources incorporated both within and outside of the classroom have presented challenges towards inclusivity for faculty who are striving to make their class materials accessible to all. Additionally, content development has expanded beyond the physical or even digital classroom space, with many forms of interactivity occurring in digital public spaces where little to no accessibility considerations may have been previously considered.

Recognizing gaps both in practice as well as in best practices, a pivotal and culture-changing growth point for enhancing services to all constituents was established, supported, enacted, modified, and enhanced. The presenter (who serves as both an administrator in digital learning and also faculty) will outline several distinct case examples from multiple campuses' successful implementation of a variety of technological tools that resulted in significant positive impacts in overall accessibility of educational content in the digital space. Further, the development and support of a campus-wide faculty incentive and training program centered around digital learning best practices has laid the foundation to both shape the culture of accessibility on university-wide campus climate and also to provide metrics to assess growth in digital accessibility over time in a campus environment.