Inclusive Course Design Requires a Team


Presented at 9:15am in Waverly on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.



  • Sheryl Ballenger, Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Georgia Tech- College of Design

Session Details

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


Instructors or faculty developing course content must develop using universal design principals from the beginning. Using a team approach with the right people at the table is the answer.


Creating a MOOC, online course, or blended course that is accessible, ensures adults of all abilities and disabilities are able to participate. Lifelong learning is truly only possible if opportunities are accessible. Online courses built with inclusion in mind widens participation to many more individuals.Some course designers are concerned with access, but they are focused on cost of the course or making the course asynchronous. These are important factors, but access specifically for the widest range of learners is created by using universal design principles. Accessible online course development requires a team approach. Who are the team members you need? Actual course ideas from an instructional designer working with multiple faculty members will be discussed from an accessibility standpoint. These ideas are informed by disability laws, access guidelines, and the strategies used to develop fully online universally designed courses.


  1. Recognize the importance of proactively incorporating accessible design practices into course design.
  2. How to add accessibility into course design.
  3. A team approach to accessible course design is needed.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Sheryl Ballenger

Sheryl has a doctorate from the University of Georgia, with research in audism and transition for Deaf adults. She is the Education Lead and Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation in the College of Design at Georgia Tech and teaches courses on accessibility. She is an IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). She holds professional certification as a Teacher of the Deaf and is a parent advisor for Georgia PINES. Her past includes serving colleges as a Disability Services Provider.