Digital Accessibility: Six Core Skills

Presented at 11:30am in Colorado I-J on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.



  • Michele Michele Betancourt, Director of Distance Education, Wharton County Junior College
  • Kimberly Ashburn, Instructional Technologist - Media and Accessibility, Wharton County Junior College

Session Details

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


Creating accessible documents can seem like a daunting task to faculty and other content authors. Switching from a application driven (e.g. “How to make Word documents accessible”) to a skill (font, color contrast, heading structure etc..) driven approach can provide the content authors with a basic set of skills that when applied will allow them to make accessible digital content in most software and applications.


In this session, we will look at one of the key aspects for Wharton County Junior College’s digital accessibility initiative… Digital Accessibility: Six Core Skills. In this session, we will discuss how this shift from a application driven (e.g. How to make Word documents accessible) to a skill driven approach has led to greater adoption and use of the skills presented. We will also look at how implementing a program that could be utilized by content authors with various levels of technology skills created a long-lasting impact on the institution's culture and overall digital accessibility. This session will also include a presentation of the Digital Accessibility: Six Core Skills program. This program will teach participants six basic skills that will help to create accessible digital content regardless of the software or program. It will also include instruction on getting the most out of the accessibility checkers that are included in most standard programs utilized in higher education.


  1. Shifting focus from application driven training to core skills creates a more lasting change for content creators.
  2. Implementing 6 key accessibility principles creates well-structured, digitally accessible content.
  3. Utilize standard accessibility checkers in conjunction with the six core skills ensures digital accessibility.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Faculty Development & Support, Uncategorized, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Michele Michele Betancourt

Michele Betancourt M.A., is the Director of Distance Education at Wharton County Junior College in Texas. In this capacity, she is responsible for coordinating a wide range of efforts utilizing technology in the classroom and through distance education, including online instruction and course design. She also serves as Chair of the campus Accessibility Committee—providing support for campus wide accessibility initiatives from the built environment to digital accessibility. Her primary areas of expertise are online course design and delivery, digital accessibility, and classroom learning technologies.

Kimberly Ashburn

Kimberly Ashburn is the Instructional Technologist for Media and Accessibility at Wharton County Junior College in Texas. In this capacity, she serves as a digital accessibility resource for the College—providing support, technical direction, and assessment related to the accessibility of new and existing information and communication technologies. Kimberly is also a certified accessibility specialist for online education. Her primary areas of expertise are accessible digital design, digital accessibility, and online student accommodations.