Don't Raise Your Voice, Improve Your Argument: Advocating for Accessibility

Concurrent Session 4

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Brief Abstract

If your institution has yet to form an accessibility policy or committee, advocating for accessibility can be a challenge. Come share your best point/counterpoint for an accessible campus and leave this session with practical examples and phrases that will better equip you for tough conversations about access. 


Torie Wynn has worked as an Instructional Designer since 2015 and currently serves as an Instructional Designer and Accessibility Expert at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to coming to UMKC, she served as the Senior Instructional Designer at Wichita State University. She has also worked as an Instructional Design and Video Consultant for various institutions including St. Mary's College of California, Ft. Scott Community College, and KU Med. Torie has taught online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses in Social Media, Business Writing, Composition, and American Literature. Torie is a Quality Matters Master Reviewer and holds both BA and MA in English Language and Literature from WSU. She is passionate about accessibility in course design and training resources. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, cooking, and weightlifting.

Extended Abstract

Advocating for accessibility against resistent colleagues can mean entering into a challenging conversation without being adequately equipped or prepared, espeically if your institution has yet to form an accessibility policy or comittee. While quoting information from the ADA and Rehabilitation Act may seem like the best way to appeal to a colleague, this strategy will sometimes prove to be unsuccessful. In this conversation, not presentation, respresentatives from all areas of higher education (faculty, staff, and administration) are encouraged to share their best arguments and point/counterpoints for an accessible campus. Leave this session with practical examples and phrases that will equip you for those tough conversations. 

Participants will receive prompts based on real conversations about accessibility in higher education. Small groups will then workshop responses that focus on the principles of UDL rather than legal quotations. The larger group will then come together to critique responses, ultimately creating a small "handbook" of responses that can help control conversations about accessibility.