Building a campus-wide Universal Design framework from the ground up

Handouts Media

Presented at 2:15pm in Westminster II on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.



  • Sheryl Burgstahler, Director, Accessible Technology Services, University of Washington

Session Details

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


UD has emerged as framework for addressing diversity issues in the design of software, instruction, and student services. Engage with speaker and other participants about how promoting the UD paradigm to all aspects of campus life can influence the expectation that IT procured, developed, and used on campus will be accessible too.


UD has emerged as a paradigm to address diversity and equity in the design of a broad range of applications, including physical spaces, instruction, and student services. The content of this presentation includes historical highlights of UD in architecture and commercial products, other proactive design approaches, the definition and principles of UD, the process of UD, and applications of UD in higher education. The presenter will share a way to develop a framework for the application of UD to technology, teaching and learning, physical spaces and services that can integrate it with campus values, mission and processes. The presenter will share useful resources as she engages the audience in discussing how promoting the UD paradigm campus-wide can set the expectation that IT procured, developed and used will be accessible to everyone.


  1. UD is a framework that can be used to address diversity and equity issues on postsecondary campuses.
  2. UD has a rich history in the design of physical spaces, commercial products, services, and IT.
  3. Campuses can take intentional steps to promote UD in all aspects of all college/university offerings.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Alternate Format, Legal, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Sheryl Burgstahler

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler founded and directs Accessible Technology Services, which includes the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center and the IT Accessibility Team within UW-IT at the University of Washington (UW). These units promote (1) the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers and (2) the development of facilities, IT, services, and learning activities that are welcoming and accessible to individuals with disabilities through the application of a Universal Design (UD) Framework. ITAT focuses efforts at the UW; the DO-IT Center reaches national and international audiences with the support of federal, state, corporate, foundation, and private funds. Dr. Burgstahler is an affiliate professor in the UW College of Education. She developed and continues to teach a graduate course in applications of universal design in higher education at City University of New York.