Accessibility in the time of COVID-19: lessons learned from the shift to distance learning



  • Taylor Snook, Digital Accessibility Consultant, Perkins School for the Blind

Session Details

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


Overnight, distance learning became required in 2020, unearthing many barriers for students with disabilities and providing an opportunity to improve accessibility. Learn from a Senior Accessibility Consultant with Perkins Access how you can apply the accessibility considerations that emerged to improve your strategy and support all student needs.


In the wake of COVID-19, lessons on how to support students with disabilities participating in distance education emerged. As classes shifted online, access to digital information became a priority that benefits every student, particularly those who previously relied on individual accommodations. We’ll review how the landscape has changed and the impact that has had on supporting students. You’ll learn new best practices for supporting faculty and students going forward. We’ll cover how to train faculty on new tools and software, how to keep accessibility top of mind, and how to enlist additional support remotely. Organizations that prioritize accessibility now will emerge as leaders, appealing to a broader pool of students who may be outside of their typical applicant due to online learning’s lack of a geographic constraint.


  1. Accessibility barriers that emerged in 2020 are opportunities to improve your strategy.
  2. To support students, faculty will need training on new tools and software.
  3. Prioritizing accessibility and keeping it top of mind will help reach more students.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Faculty Development & Support, Institutional/Campus Change, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Taylor Snook

Snook possesses deep expertise in content management systems, user-centered design and various programming languages. She began her work at Perkins developing systems that would support hundreds of local partners worldwide. Snook is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies and holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Colby College and a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Global Practice from Boston College.