From the ground up: Accessibility journeys of two universities

Handouts Media

Scheduled at 11:30am in Penrose 1 on Wednesday, November 16.



  • Kate Percival, Web/Digital Content Coordinator, State University of New York at Oswego
  • Luz Espanola, Accessibility Specialist, California State University Monterey Bay

Session Details

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


Understanding and practicing digital accessibility is now more critical than ever. In this session, attendees will hear about accessibility journeys from two universities on opposite sides of the country. Kate Percival, from the State University of New York at Oswego, and Luz Espanola, from California State University Monterey Bay, will share perspectives on how to start a digital accessibility initiative and keep the momentum going.


Digital accessibility is an extremely important, yet sometimes overlooked aspect of higher education. As we continue to spend much of our time in online and virtual environments, understanding and practicing digital accessibility is more critical than ever.

Kate Percival, from the State University of New York at Oswego, and Luz Espanola, from California State University Monterey Bay, met at Accessing Higher Ground in 2021. We started comparing notes on accessibility initiatives at our respective universities and discussing ways we are encouraging our communities to be involved. In this session, we bring together our journeys from opposite sides of the country.

Inspired by one another, we share some of the ideas our universities are implementing. We’ll provide simple, yet effective strategies each university has used to hire a team of accessibility professionals and help create collaborative partnerships, broaden the understanding of the word “accessibility” as it relates to inclusion, and shift the narrative to empower others to do their part to remove barriers.

Attendees will hear each of our perspectives. From CSU Monterey Bay, Luz will talk about the inception of a campus-wide digital accessibility initiative and ways others can get started. From SUNY Oswego, Kate will discuss how to continue those beginning efforts and grow the initiative.


  1. Create partnerships and a team of professionals to run programming within accessibility initiatives
  2. Broaden the understanding of the word “accessibility” as it relates to equality and inclusion
  3. Shift the narrative to encourage and empower others to remove barriers and push the momentum forward

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Faculty Development & Support, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Kate Percival

As Web/Digital Content Coordinator, Kate is one of the primary leaders of SUNY Oswego’s web accessibility efforts. She helps maintain the college's primary website, ensuring information is up-to-date, accurate, and accessible. She also assists with training and supporting our campus website editors. In this effort, Kate provides general website support, creates and maintains content, and develops and refines information architectures. As a member of the Workgroup on Accessibility Practices, she works with other campus accessibility experts to anticipate, troubleshoot, support, and resolve the practical digital accessibility needs of our campus community. Kate is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) and has presented for Accessing Higher Ground, the New York State Disability Services Council, SUNY Technology Conference, among others.

Luz Espanola

Luz has varied experiences with accessibility in Higher Education. Her roles at California State University, Monterey Bay have been the Student Accommodations Coordinator for Student Disability Resources, and an Instructional Designer with the Center for Academic Technologies. In these roles she supported students in accommodation needs including alternative media, and supported faculty with their course design and instruction. At the start of 2022 she landed the role of Accessibility Specialist, responsible for leading document remediation services, digital accessibility training, and assistive technology consulting. Luz also serves as the ATHEN membership coordinator.