Accessibility Education: A New Certificate and Undergraduate Minor in Accessibility Studies

Handouts Media

Presented at 11:15am in Westminster I on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.



  • Naomi Petersen, Professor, Central Washington University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Find out about a new undergraduate minor and professional development certificate in Accessibility Studies: The online curriculum and the very real influence it has to increase awareness and acceptance as well as advocacy skills--not just for its students but the faculty who had to approve it in order for it to get into the catalog!


The laws and principles of accessibility apply to everyone. We must all be conscious of the environment in which we all struggle to function, and we must see ourselves as sharing similar user experiences whether chronically, temporarily, or situationally. Therefore, every undergraduate, no matter what the major, would benefit from basic accessibility education for both personal and professional development. The Accessibility Studies Program focuses on the general knowledge that all public venues must use to successfully engage the range of abilities present in society, rather than rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. The larger goal is to increase awareness and acceptance as well as advocacy skills. This interactive session will outline the justification used to persuade the university to offer the program, the scope and sequence of courses, examples of assignments and resources, and samples of capstone projects representing a great range of majors and careers.


  1. 1. Every major (career field) is enhanced and more marketable with accessibility competence.
  2. 2. Every student finds learning about accessibility and advocacy personally meaningful.
  3. 3. The curriculum approval process forces all faculty to become aware of the outcomes and their value.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Naomi Petersen

Dr. Naomi Jeffery Petersen (“NJP”) is Professor of Curriculum, Supervision, & Educational Leadership at Central Washington University. She teaches and researches topics related to assessment and instruction as well as professional development and dispositions. In addition to pedagogical innovation and analyses of teacher education, her academic agenda is infused with the intersection of environment, culture, and technology, including such diverse applications as watersheds, railroads and military history, visual literacy, and informal learning environments. She fosters collaborations across disciples, such as geography and public health. She cultivated the partnerships resulting in the launch of CWU’s interdisciplinary Accessibility Studies Program which she now directs.