Maintaining Accessibility in the Modern Classroom


Presented at 8:00am in Waverly on Thursday, November 17, 2016.



  • Christa Miller, Associate Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, Virginia Tech

Session Details

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


Faculty can use modern instructional approaches to increase the inclusion of students with disabilities.


Instructional practices currently on-trend in higher education are moving towards learner-centered approaches aimed at greater student ownership of knowledge. Such approaches commonly employ more small group activities and often rely heavily on mobile technologies for participation.

The presentation will examine the intersections of the most common instructional practices and how disability support can work with faculty to integrate students with disabilities into these classroom settings without creating new barriers to learning. When a course is designed with accessibility in mind the implementation of current instructional practices may increase the inclusion of students with disabilities in the classroom.


  1. Current instructional approaches (active, hybrid, flipped) have common activities that create access barriers
  2. Universal Design for Learning is one strategy to remove these barriers
  3. When implemented consciously these approaches improve the experience for students with disabilities

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Assistive Technology

Speaker Bio(s)

Christa Miller

Christa Miller started at Virginia Tech in 2006. After many years of accessible educational material development and alternative format production, she transitioned to a training-focused role. Her experience includes reading/writing Braille, developing captioning workflows, and working individually with instructors to create accessible content. Today she conducts one-time and semester-long training on accessibility and supervises the creation of accessible media. She also runs accessibility software pilots, collaborates on accessibility initiatives in other departments, and leads bi-annual cohorts of individuals preparing to become certified in accessibility core competencies. She is currently the Associate Director of Services for Students with Disabilities