Institutional Roadblocks to Accessibility: A collaborative session on how to overcome organizational resistance


Scheduled at 2:15pm in Westminster III on Wednesday, November 20 (2019).



  • Howard Fooksman, Educational Technology Consultant, Purdue University
  • Dean Brusnighan, Assistive Technology Specialist, Purdue University

Session Details

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


In this innovative flipped panel, we will present attendees with some common roadblocks that accessibility professionals encounter while promoting their work within their institution. Using the collective wisdom of the AHG community, we will work together to craft solutions for overcoming these roadblocks on a variety of campuses.


While many of the conversations that take place at conferences like AHG represent how speakers implemented new tools or processes at their home campus, we know that these talks represent an idealized version of how the process works. For this session we will flip the expectations of a standard conference talk, and, rather than present a solution to a problem, we will present a series of problems and ask attendees to work together to generate a solution. We believe that, by sourcing solutions from the collective wisdom of our colleagues, that we can find a way to overcome these institutional roadblocks at a variety of institutions. Attendees will leave the session better prepared to work collaboratively with colleagues at their home campus to support accessibility, and a better understanding of the challenges that may appear in the future.


  1. Identifying common accessibility implementations issues across institutions
  2. Collaboratively working to find solutions to institutional roadblocks.
  3. Sharing practical and effective solutions roadblocks that have worked in the past.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Legal, Procurement, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Howard Fooksman

Howard came to Purdue in 2018 from Michigan State University, where he earned his MA in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing and taught classes in writing, document design, and digital and hybrid pedagogy. His academic and research focus has been on designing and implementing new technologies that enhance existing good pedagogical practices, rather than replacing them. At Purdue, Howard works with faculty to find digital tools they can bring in to the classroom, with a focus on peer and faculty assessment technologies. Howard also has a passion for making sure that all classes are accessible to all students. At Purdue, Howard serves as a workshop facilitator and consultant on a variety of accessibility-related topics. Howard previously served on the planning committee for the Accessible Learning Conference and the Computers and Writing Conference, and as a communications editor for Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy.

Dean Brusnighan

Dean has been providing accessibility and assistive technology services in several positions at Purdue since arriving in 1991. He has enjoyed working with farmers and ranchers with disabilities (Breaking New Ground) as well as coordinating accommodations for students with disabilities (Disability Resource Center). Dean’s current focus is on long-term and campus-wide accessibility needs of information technology. He leads campus education efforts to create accessible websites and documents. Dean received his M.S. degree in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He enjoys spending time with family and appreciates all outdoor activities (except shoveling snow).