aHead in the Cloud: Using google’s cloud as a platform to extend post-secondary accessibility services

Bios & Handouts



  • Thaddeus Nelson, Office Manager, Stony Brook University
  • Glenn Dausch, Assistive Technology Specialist, Stony Brook University

Session Details

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


This presentation will describe the use of Google Apps for Education to extend the services provided by student accessibility offices. The methods presented will be beneficial for schools who are outgrowing their current data management software, as well as those campuses who have yet to implement a data management application.


Across the academic world, student support offices have risen to the needs of a growing and diversifying student population through the use of specialized software. Area-specific software maintains records, notifies faculty of accommodations, and schedules tests. These programs work well, however the highly specialized nature of this software presents its own limitations: development time constrains the software’s response to new service requests, the purchasing lead time required by academic institutions prevents software solutions to novel problems, and budgets limit software options. The Google Apps suite is supported by many universities, and offers software options familiar to most staff and students. The authors demonstrate that this general purpose cloud software can be used to augment the specialized software used within disability services. Examples show how Stony Brook University has successfully used these cloud apps to fill in holes left by specialized software and to imp


  1. IT infrastructure can be used to extend the reach of the disability services office
  2. Stony Brook University uses Google Apps to manage a 33% increase in proctored exams
  3. Cloud software facilitates communications between faculty and DSS Office

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Information Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Thaddeus Nelson

Thaddeus Nelson earned his PhD in archaeology at Stony Brook University in 2016. While working on his PhD, he was a student employee at SBU's Disability Support Services. In 2015 he accepted the full time position of Office Manager at DSS, in which he oversees student employees, purchasing, testing, and front desk management.

Glenn Dausch

Glenn Dausch is both a user of assistive technology, and a practitioner working to insure digital accessibility. Since 2007 he has help to foster technical proficiency in SBU students , and collaborated with Stony Brook University faculty to provide accessible course materials. He has published in W4A and DVIQ; invited to speak at the ACB Student division, and the AER state division meetings in New York and Pennsylvania.