Design Considerations in Delivering Accessibility Training in Online Higher Education


Presented at 8:00am in Westminster I on Thursday, November 15, 2018.



  • Tania Heap, Instructional Designer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Marc Thompson, Senior Instructional Designer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Hadi Rangin, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington

Session Details

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


This panel presentation aims to share design strategies, experiences, and challenges in delivering accessibility and universal design training to different audiences in online higher education: from faculty members teaching a broad range of disciplines, to elearning and media professionals involved in online course development and production.


As instructional designers who offer accessibility training at a large higher education institution, we have seen an increased need for faculty members and eLearning professionals to leverage their learning management systems and course content in ways that meet the needs of all students. We undertook an evaluation of our training practices. Aiming to make our training more targeted and efficient, we surveyed our attendees to better understand the specific needs of different discipline areas, from Veterinary Medicine to Computer Science, and roles in course development, from instructors to instructional designers and media professionals. The goal of this study was to give us a better sense of the impact of our training on campus, and whether it was actually helping faculty and eLearning professionals create content and courses that were more accessible and inclusive for students. We will present our preliminary findings and invite participants to share their training experiences.


  1. In what ways can an accessibility training workshop meet the needs of faculty teaching a range of disciplines?
  2. Do instructors and elearning professionals create more accessible course content after training completion?
  3. What are the challenges in delivering accessibility training to online faculty and instructional designers?

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Alternate Format, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Tania Heap

Dr. Tania Heap is an Instructional Designer and Team Lead in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has taught at the secondary and university level for over 10 years in a range of cultural and learning environments: face-to-face, blended, online, in Europe and in the US. She has nine years of experience in online instructional design and faculty development. Her background is in educational psychology and technology. Dr. Heap has presented on topics related to accessibility in online higher education and MOOC-based learning environments, digital open scholarship, and social media usability among senior internet users.

Marc Thompson

Dr. Thompson is a Senior Instructional Designer and Team Lead at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He has taught at the university level for 30 years and has over 15 years of experience teaching online courses and providing online teaching instruction. In addition to his teaching experience, he has a background in web design, instructional media, and web-based learning platforms. He is the accessibility liaison for the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois and has presented at a number of workshops and conferences on topics related to the creation of accessible course content and the accessibility of web conferencing systems and learning management systems.

Hadi Rangin

Please follow this link to access the slides in this presentation: