Grassroot Successes for Small College Accessibility

Handouts Media

Presented at 11:15am in Westminster I on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.



  • Deborah Dorsey, Project Manager, Maryland Online
  • Richard Smith, Instructional Designer, Harford Community College
  • Mark Bandy, Manager for Digital Communications, Harford Community College

Session Details

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


This is the true story of 5 colleagues picked to attend the 2016 Accessing Higher Ground Conference and have their experiences documented to find out what happens when small colleges face accessibility issues and invested people change the way their institution develops, procures, maintains, and uses electronic and information technology (EIT).


Harford Community College sent 5 members of the Campus Accessibility Committee to attend the 2016 Association on Higher Education and Disability Association’s Accessing Higher Ground Conference. Charged with evaluating the College’s current accessibility practices, the members chose workshops and information sessions that would improve their understanding of standards for EIT. Formal recommendations that were put forward for leadership consideration were placed on hold due to competing demands. Meanwhile, 3 members chose to use their individual scope of authority to implement procedures that have since fanned out into measurable improvements in procurement practices, web content creation, and online course design standards. The 3 will share tips on how to influence and implement changes that ensure EIT is accessible to all people.


  1. Think institution, act in supervision.
  2. Focus on what people of diverse abilities need to be successful.
  3. Become an expert for your institution.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Procurement, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Deborah Dorsey

Debbie Dorsey holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Louisiana State University and is a Higher Ed QM Peer Reviewer, Secretary for the Maryland Distance Learning Association, and graduate of the Maryland Online Leadership Institute. Debbie provides leadership to the Education, Welllness and Community Engagement Division at Harford Community College, collaborating with faculty to implement universal design best practices in both classroom and online learning environments.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith is an Instructional Designer at Harford Community College and is Past President of the Maryland Distance Learning Association. Richard was the developer of the interdisciplinary eLearning Design Institute which has a group of faculty build a course as a team. He is also an adjunct faculty member and teaches Economics and Geography.

Mark Bandy

Mark Bandy is Manager for Digital Communications at Harford Community College. Mark serves on the Campus Accessibility Committee and provides leadership to the RFP Development and the Vendor Submission Review teams.