Holistic Accessibility Across the Penn State University

Presented at 11:15am in Governors Square 12 on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.



  • Binky Lush, Manager, Discovery, Access and Web Services, Penn State University Libraries
  • Philip Voorhees, Manager, IT Accessibility Team, Penn State University

Session Details

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


Penn State University’s commitment to accessibility has led to a proliferation of accessibility groups, committees and communities of practice across campuses, colleges and departments and much has been accomplished. In this session, we will discuss how we worked to combine these University-wide efforts and created an Accessibility Leadership Coordinating Group to develop a holistic 5-year plan that strategically addresses accessibility with a common University vision.


At a university this size, how can we ensure that these efforts are coordinated, that we are not duplicating work and that we are all moving towards the same goal with a common strategy and vision?

In 2019, we formed the Penn State Accessibility Leadership Coordinating Group, a group of accessibility leaders representing important areas of effort across the University. Our first objective was to build a framework for a five-phase holistic accessibility plan to implement a mature and strategic accessibility model at Penn State to guide our approach to accessibility across all 24 campuses.

Helping to support and advise on the plan is the Executive Accessibility Advisory Board, made up of University Vice Presidents who are equally passionate about a unified effort aimed at providing an accessible experience for students, faculty and staff at Penn State.

In this session, we will talk about the history of accessibility efforts across Penn State University, the genesis of the Accessibility Leadership Coordinating Group and Executive Accessibility Advisory Board, the development of our 5-phase plan, and our vision for what comes next.


  1. Accessibility Leadership coordination is critical at a large University.
  2. It is important to have a strategic, holistic, long-term plan for accessibility at a large institution.
  3. A strategic plan for accessibility needs support from University administration.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Binky Lush

Binky Lush is the Manager of Discovery Access and Web Services for the Penn State University Libraries in University Park, PA. She leads a number of teams in the Libraries focusing on enhancing the Libraries’ web site and discovery platforms to ensure an engaging, accessible, and user-centered search and discovery experience.

Philip Voorhees

Highly effective professional with 21 plus years of success bridging the access gap by developing and/or implementing accessibility policy and plans for digital access, instructional access, employee access, communications access and accommodation processes in higher education.

Accessibility consultant, evangelist, tester, trainer and presenter at Penn State and national/international conferences. Author, accessibility policy and procedures. Co-Chair, Penn State Accessible Technology and Information initiative. Co-Chair, Penn State Web Liaisons Group. Member of Penn State Accessibility Leadership Coordinating Group. Member, Big Ten Academic Alliance IT Accessibility Group. Member, Access Technology Higher Education Network. Member, Association on Higher Education And Disability. Member, IMS Global Accessibility Community of Practice. Member, DAISY Consortium Accessible EPub Initiative. Member, EDUCAUSE Accessibility Constituent Group. Accessibility/Assistive Technology advisory role for ATHEN, Google, Freedom Scientific, McGraw Hill, Pearson and Macmillan.