Accessibility, Universal Design, and Usability: Promoting an Inclusive Campus


Presented at 11:45am in Waverly on Friday, November 17, 2017.



  • Christopher Phillips, EIT Accessibility Coordinator, Utah State University
  • Clint Stoker, Universal Access Initiatives Coordinator, Salt Lake Community College

Session Details

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


How we frame accessibility conversations matters. Emphasizing usability and universal design encourages greater adoption of accessibility principles than a focus on compliance and accommodation. In this presentation, we will share strategies and ideas for raising awareness and specific strategies to help create an inclusive campus environment.


What do we mean when we tell other people that making their content more accessible to also makes it more usable for all students? Some accessibility fixes required for students with disabilities have a greater impact on usability than others.

The words ‘ADA’, lawsuit, or Section 508 can provoke strong and sometimes negative reactions from faculty and staff. When you can establish an atmosphere where usability and inclusive design are priorities and students come first, it is much easier to have conversations about accessibility. We will share how Utah State University and Salt Lake Community College have found campus allies and common ground by focusing efforts on usability and universal design.

We will present ideas on helpful ways to frame the discussions on accessibility that emphasize universal design and usability that provide motivation beyond compliance. We will also share specific usability practices and principles that lead to accessible experiences for everyone.


  1. The differences between accessibility, universal design and usability and how they are perceived by others.
  2. With a shared vision, you can focus on solving problems together rather than compliance.
  3. An understanding and application of usability principles can have a significant impact on accessibility.

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Christopher Phillips

Christopher Phillips is the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Coordinator at Utah State University. He is responsible for making sure campus electronic and information technology is accessible and he is currently focused creative ideas and solutions to implement more inclusive digital experiences.

He brings his previous worked in special education, instructional design, web development and product management to accessibility work.

Clint Stoker

Clint Stoker is the Universal Access Initiatives coordinator at Salt Lake Community College. He worked as a trainer when he was asked to assisted on a college committee for accessibility. That changed everything. Now he trains faculty and staff on universal design and leads initiatives to make the college more accessible to all students.


  1. Accessibility Universal Design Clint Stoker PowerPoint Presentation
  2. Accessible Usability Christopher Phillips PowerPoint Presentation
  3. Additional Resources Google Doc