How we do accessible IT at the UW


Presented at 9:15am in Cotton Creek II on Thursday, November 21, 2019.



  • Terrill Thompson, Manager, IT Accessibility Team, University of Washington
  • Sheryl Burgstahler, Director, UW-IT Accessible Technology Services, University of Washington
  • Dan Comden, Access Technology Manager, University of Washington
  • Hadi Rangin, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington
  • Gaby de Jongh, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington
  • Bree Callahan, ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, University of Washington
  • Anna Marie Golden, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington

Session Details

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


The University of Washington has a long history of leadership in IT accessibility. In this session, team members from UW-IT Accessible Technology Services will discuss their individual roles and how they fit within the campuswide strategy to empower the broader campus community and develop accessibility expertise throughout the institution.


The University of Washington has a long history of leadership in IT accessibility. Their efforts are led by Accessible Technology Services (ATS), a department within the central IT unit, but they focus extensively on empowering the broader campus community and developing accessibility expertise throughout the institution. In this session, members of the core UW IT Accessibility team will discuss their individual roles, and how they fit within the overall university strategy.


  1. Attendees will come away with an appreciation that "It takes a village" to address IT accessibility.
  2. Attendees will learn strategies for building a supporting campuswide community around accessibility.
  3. Attendees will learn several promising practices that can be potentially be applied on their campuses.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Terrill Thompson

Terrill Thompson is manager of the IT Accessibility Team at the University of Washington.

Sheryl Burgstahler

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler directs UW-IT Accessible Technology Services (ATS) and founded and directs the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center. These two centers promote (1) the use of mainstream and assistive technology and other interventions to support the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers and (2) the development of facilities, computer labs, academic and administrative software, websites, multimedia, and distance learning programs that are welcoming and accessible to individuals with disabilities. ATS focuses efforts at the University of Washington; the DO-IT Center reaches national and international audiences with the support of federal, state, corporate, foundation, and private funds.

Dan Comden

Dan manages the Access Technology Center at the University of Washington. He has been working in the higher education, disability, and technology space for over 30 years.

Hadi Rangin

Hadi Rangin is an Information Technology Accessibility Specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle. In this position he is tasked with improving access to information technologies for all users, including those with disabilities. To do this Hadi works with and advises software engineers, designers, administrators, and purchasers on accessible implementation techniques, quality assurance, and best practices. Hadi has collaborated with dozens of higher education vendors, helping them to improve their accessibility. Hadi's educational background is in Computer Science with a focus on Network Management and Human-Computer Interfaces.

Gaby de Jongh

Gaby de Jongh’s experience with Accessible Information Technology in Education has spanned over 15 years and has afforded her a solid understanding of Web Content Accessibility and how Operating Systems, hardware, software, and Assistive Technology work in tandem. She leads efforts across the University of Washington tri-campus area to increase awareness of Accessible Technology; she also provides training and expertise to create accessible electronic documents and how to remediate legacy documents. Gaby holds a certificate as an Adobe PDF Accessibility Trainer and is a partner on the Microsoft 365 Inclusive Workplace Council.

Bree Callahan

Bree Callahan serves as the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator for the University of Washington and works across three campuses and UW Medicine. Two key roles the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator plays at the UW include: providing leadership, coordination and oversight to advance the University’s ADA/Section 504 mission, vision and strategic priorities relating to accessibility; and consulting with a broad network of University partners, offices, and programs who provide direct support, resources and outreach on accessibility matters and initiatives. Prior to transitioning to this role in October 2018, Bree served as the Director of Disability Resources for Students at the UW. In this role she oversaw an office that facilitated the accommodation process and partnered annually with 3000+ students with disabilities, 3200 faculty/academic staff, and 15 academic colleges and professional schools. Overall Bree has seventeen years’ experience in higher education at both two-year and four year institutions in Washington State. She recently served on two WA State Legislative Task Force’s examining barriers in place for students with disabilities transitioning and/or transferring to Washington State higher education institutions. Bree has had the opportunity to serve regionally as President of Washington Association on Post-Secondary Education and Disability (WAPED) as well as nationally, as the Chair of the Association on Higher Education and Disability’s (AHEAD) Standing Committee on Technology.

Anna Marie Golden

Anna Marie Golden is IT Accessibility Specialist with UW-IT Accessible Technology Services. In this role she provides support and outreach to the campus web community to help them make their websites more accessible to students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities. She is a UW graduate from the Master of Human-Computer Interaction + Design program.


Slides (PowerPoint)