Maintaining Accessibility in the Modern Classroom


Scheduled at 8:00am in Waverly on Thursday, November 17 (2016).



  • Christa Miller, Director of Inclusive Media Design, 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

Assistive Technology, Faculty Instruction/Accessible Course Design

Speaker Bio(s)

Christa Miller

Christa Miller is a proud Virginia Tech Hokie and is currently the Director of Inclusive Media Design. She first became interested in assistive technologies (AT) while earning her BS in Electrical Engineering. Her passion for accessible technology and universal design then led her to pursue her MS in Industrial Systems Engineering, concentrating in Human Factors.

Between 2006 and 2018, Christa has worked in many roles for Assistive Technologies, part of Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS). Notable among these was as the lead Braille Transcriber for Braille Services. Her unique knowledge of the tools and technologies needed to produce Braille for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses has led her to consult with disability service providers from many other post-secondary institutions and share that knowledge at national conferences.

In her current role, Christa has enjoyed co-leading a many professional development programs aimed at providing teaching faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to create inclusive learning environments.