Collaborative Efforts to Promote Access in Higher Education in the State of Iowa

Presented at 9:15am in Windsor on Friday, November 17, .



  • Todd Weissenberger, IT Accessibility Coordinator, University of Iowa
  • Zayira Jordan, , University of Iowa
  • Carolyn Dorr, Assistive Technology Support Specialist,

Session Details

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


Summary This panel session will discuss accessibility collaborations undertaken by the State of Iowa Regents’ institutions: identifying and addressing opportunities for collaboration, leveraging other cross-institutional collaborations, creating synergy from diverse experience, and addressing challenges in cross-institutional practice.


In 2012, the State of Iowa Board of Regents published a policy requiring its universities and schools to maintain policies and guidelines that “demonstrate and support...commitment to electronic and information technology accessibility.” The Regents’ policy addressed five areas for the establishment of these rules: procurement and contractual language; learning and work environments; websites and content; documents and media; and campus awareness and support. In support of the Regents’ policy statement, and in alignment with their existing legal and institutional missions, accessibility staff at the Regents’ institutions identified opportunities for collaboration and cooperation, ultimately settling on three areas of practice: • Procurement practice: Testing protocols for vended/third-party software • Enterprise assessment: Accessibility scanning and testing tools and practices • Staff Development: Accessibility training and education for technical staff


  1. Finding common areas of concern on which to focus collaborative efforts
  2. Identifying opportunities to address accessibility within existing cross-institutional collaborations
  3. How challenges inherent in other cross-institutional collaboration apply to accessibility initiatives

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Legal, Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Todd Weissenberger

T.M. Weissenberger Todd Weissenberger is the I.T. Accessibility Coordinator at his alma mater, the University of Iowa, where he became the first Web Accessibility Coordinator in 2011. There, he leads IT and web accessibility efforts, and provides guidance, training, and consultation to campus stakeholders on strategic and tactical approaches to web and IT accessibility. A member of the CIC CIOs IT Accessibility Group since 2011, he currently co-chairs that committee's Accessibility Training and Badging group. Prior to his return to Iowa, he spent eight years as Senior Web Designer and Unit IT Support Manager at the University of New Mexico's Center for Development and Disability, and 12 years as a Senior Instructor in the Digital Arts program at UNM's Division of Continuing Education. Before beginning his career in technology, Todd provided direct personal services to clients with both acquired and developmental disabilities. His experiences and relationships in this area fueled the advocacy that informs his work in technical accessibility. A native of New Mexico, Todd enjoys live music, traveling with his family, and coaching youth baseball.

Zayira Jordan

I am trained as an anthropologist and a tekkie, both, and that is how I approach my projects. I am honored with an appointment that allows me to promote and enable digital accessibility at Iowa State. I am a bridge. I identify and curate the enormous amount of resources available so that I can provide usable information to our campus community stakeholders. I am an educator and a UX practitioner at the same time. Whenever I am approached for a training session, I strive to be sensitive to the needs of the audience because I am aware of the diversity in university stakeholders' needs and interests. Ultimately, my goal is to enable the adoption of practices that benefit the digital experience of all our digital content users.

Carolyn Dorr

Carolyn Dorr is the Assistive Technology Support Specialist at the University of Northern Iowa. She graduated from UNI in 1999 with a Master's degree in Educational Technology. Since 2000, Carolyn has been employed in several capacities at UNI, including Website Manager, Web Developer, and Electronic Communications Specialist until finally arriving at her current position in 2015. She has served on the campus Disability Advisory and Advocacy Committee since 2012.