DIY IT Accessibility: Building the Foundation for Accessible Course Content at the University of Maryland


Presented at 8:00am in Westminster III on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.



  • Sue Johnston, Instructional Designer, University of Maryland

Session Details

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


UMD’s commitment to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational environment for people of all abilities means that creators of web-based information must have the skills and abilities necessary to ensure it is accessible to all students. Learn how UMD is helping faculty become accessibility DIY’ers with their own course content.


As the University of Maryland began developing an official Web Accessibility Policy, it became apparent that there was a wide range of knowledge and abilities among faculty and staff in how to make web-based course information accessible. As the number of courses with an online component has increased, so have the types of content utilized in those spaces -- resulting in the need for everyone to have a basic set of tools and expertise in accessibility requirements and best practices. The Division of Information Technology began leading an effort to provide training and resources necessary for anyone on campus creating online content to gain those basic skills. This session will describe the trainings, software, LMS integrations, and resources that are used to create a culture of DIY IT Accessibility on the UMD campus.


  1. Overview of the University of Maryland’s Web Accessibility Policy
  2. Campus environment of DIY accessibility for all content creators, including The 6 Essential Steps
  3. Resources, trainings, LMS (Canvas) integrations, and software used to support faculty and staff

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Sue Johnston

Sue Johnston is an Instructional Designer at the University of Maryland's Division of Information Technology, who also has experience as a Middle School Special Education teacher. She provides technical support to faculty and staff, focusing on accessibility and universal design of web-based information, including course design. Sue is also a member of the UMD President's Commission on Disability Issues, and is involved in activities to ensure the campus is an inclusive and diverse community. In 2017 she received a UMD Global Partnerships Grant to visit the University of Edinburgh to share best practices in accessible and inclusive learning.