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Carrots and Sticks: Making the Case for Accessibility

Session Details

  • Date: Monday, June 29
  • Time: 9:00 - 9:45 am
  • Room: 354

Institutions have a legal and ethical responsibility to make technology more accessible to everyone, but many struggle with making a commitment to address this need. This session will present some of the “carrots” we get from a focus on accessibility, including better designed sites, positive PR, and reaching more users. We will also look at the “sticks”: law suits, civil rights reviews, and neglecting our users’ needs. This session shares ways to make the case for accessibility to executives and other stakeholders, gives a template for a campus technology accessibility plan, and offers suggestions to foster a culture of inclusion throughout the campus.


Learning Objectives

  • An appreciation of the benefits of making technology accessible
  • An understanding of the legal risks of having inaccessible sites and suggestions to avoid them
  • Some clear cut steps for a campus technology accessibility plan and buy-in from stakeholders


Rachel Thompson

Director of Emerging Technology and Accessibility, The University of Alabama

Rachel is Director of Emerging Technology and Accessibility in the University of Alabama Center for Instructional Technology, where she is leading a new campus-wide web and instructional technology accessibility initiative. She has been with the Center for Instructional Technology since 2007. Rachel received a Ph.D. in English-Applied Linguistics in 2004 with an emphasis on Southern American English dialects and their depiction in pop culture and fiction. Rachel also teaches linguistics and TESOL courses when possible. Rachel enjoys drawing, playing with her cats, listening to her husband make music, and assisting in his recording studio.