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Managing Accessibility in Online Education: WKU Processes and Practices

Proposal No: 2718

Bios & Handouts


  • Anne Honaker, Western Kentucky University

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                  

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: Not providedType of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

At WKU, the Office of Distance Learning has developed processes and a transcription application to improve accessibility in online learning with students serving as the primary workforce. This presentation provides an overview of our accessibility workflow and a demonstration of the software application.


With the increase in numbers of students in online courses, the Office of Distance Learning began its efforts to provide accessible content in 2007. Distance Learning established a group of students to tackle this initiative and strive for compliance related to ADA standards as well as meet any priority needs outlined by The Student Accessibility Resource Center at the university. The human-based approach has yielded the department vast cost savings by utilizing university work-study to employ undergraduate students to transcribe, caption, and review online courses for accessibility. Since then the department has gone on to develop policies and processes to address all types of online content that includes faculty development, a workflow used by the instructional design team, and the development of a new software transcription application to ensure that WKU and its faculty are putting forward their best effort in making WKU’s online courses accessible.


  1. Distance Learning staff and student workflow for managing accessibility efforts in online learning.
  2. Methods of faculty development as a strategy to improve accessibility.
  3. Overview of transcription service software and captioning process.

Speaker Bio(s)

Anne Honaker

Anne Honaker has over 10 years experience in the design and development of online education. She is now the Senior Instructional Designer at Western Kentucky University. In this role she provides comprehensive support for faculty in developing and delivering online courses. Along with leading the operation of the Instructional Design Team, she delivers professional development opportunities for faculty teaching online and in blended settings. She has a high level of faculty interaction and is responsible for planning and implementing services and programs that meet faculty instructional needs; implementing web-based instructional best practices; and acting as an advocate for enhancing the online student learning experience.


WKU Online Accessibility Workflow