A Year of Remediation: Content and Cultural Change at a Higher Education Learning Company


Presented at 9:15am in Cotton Creek II on Friday, November 18, 2016.



  • Rachel Comerford, Senior Director of Accessibility Outreach and Communication, Macmillan Learning

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Not provided
  • Type of session: General Conference


We all have the same goal of creating accessible content and products for students. So why does it sometimes feel as though we’re all speaking a different language when we try to reach that goal? This presentation explores the steps that one company has taken in the last year to break down those barriers and the lessons learned along the way.


Getting accessible content should be easy, whether it’s a brand new product or a legacy, backlist product that needs to be remediated but when it comes to working out what needs to be done, when, and how; there are a lot of places that the conversation can stall. I’ll explore the many areas that schools and content providers can strengthen their relationships based on lessons learned – from building a stronger shared vocabulary, to establishing a mutual definition of accessibility, to sharing information about testing and how to respond to testing results. I hope for a lively dialogue from the audience about their own experiences and contributions of their lessons to help with the overall learning experience of the group.


  1. An overview of the lessons learned from the changes made in the last year.
  2. Outlining methods for getting better results from publishing partners.
  3. How to keep the dialogue open about accessibility needs and accessible content development.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Other, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Alternate Format, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Rachel Comerford

Rachel Comerford is the Senior Director of Accessibility Outreach and Communication at Macmillan Learning where she leads cross-functional efforts to ensure students of all abilities have access to their course materials. In 2020, BISG awarded Rachel the Industry Innovator award for her work helping Macmillan Learning to become the first Global Certified Accessible publisher by Benetech. Under her leadership, Macmillan was recognized by WIPO’s Accessible Book Consortium with the International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing in 2020 for their work towards providing educational materials that any student can use. She has over a decade of experience in the print and digital publishing world. Prior to coming to Macmillan as an editor, she held a variety of editorial and sales positions at WW Norton and Pearson.


  • A Year of Remediation

    Content and Cultural Change at a Higher Education Learning Company

    PowerPoint presentation for AHG 2016

A Year of Remediation