Maximize the Impact: Strategies to Increase Knowledge & Use of Available Assistive Technology Tools Across Campus

Handouts Media

Presented at 8:00am in Penrose 1 on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.



  • Scott Bryden, Assistant Director of Accommodated Services, Case Western Reserve University
  • Rachel Kruzel, Higher Education Specialist, Texthelp

Session Details

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


Many universities have AT tools with campuswide licenses. Oftentimes, this technology lacks wider awareness outside of the students registered with the Disability Services Office to reach all the students who can benefit from these tools, such as un- or under-diagnosed students. This session will discuss methods and strategies that will increase awareness of these technologies along with ways to capitalize on their benefits with other stakeholders on campus: faculty, staff, and leadership.


Many colleges and universities, campuses see the benefits of providing campuswide assistive technology solutions to all learners for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include un or under-diagnosed students with disabilities, challenges around executive functioning or executive functioning skill development, learner preparedness, literacy levels, or the variability of the learners coming to our campuses. There is also a subset of students on campus that are diagnosed with a disability but are not connected to the Disability Services Office due to stigma, culture, or lack of awareness. Despite the adoption of these tools and the wider positive impact they can have on students, awareness is commonly limited to the learners who are connected to the DS Office; a direct contradiction of the rationalization for adopting these tools at a wider level. With budgets being scrutinized more than ever, adopting AT tools at a campuswide level is requiring increased levels of justification around their impact, along with their scope of reach to a higher number of learners each year. Getting the word out about these tools and their benefits is necessary in order to justify continued adoption of these tools at this level. This session will focus on tangible strategies and ways professionals can get the word out on campus about these tools, including language describing tool benefits to end users. We’ll pair these strategies with takeaways from the field of implementation science, ensuring your efforts are rooted in best practice and science. Time will be spent discussing broader initiatives on campus and tying your efforts to the bigger picture, helping to fuel traction and give attention to the positive impact of these tools on all learners. Finally, we’ll address ideas focused on building allies at varying professional levels on campus with the goal of maximizing your efforts through shared collaborative work across campus with faculty, staff, department heads, and senior leaders.


  1. Educating professionals on availability and uses of AT can increase its visibility and usage by learners.
  2. Increasing usage of AT can reduce stress, anxiety, and increase retention rates amongst students.
  3. AT tools can augment and support campus initiatives focused on academic support and student engagement.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Psychological

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Scott Bryden

Scott Bryden is the Assistant Director of Accommodated Services at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to being responsible for all notetaking accommodations, he also handles all alternative text and assistive technology requests. For the past 5 and a half years, he has utilized Peer Notetaking exclusively to meet 100% of notetaking accommodations for a growing number of student requests. He has over 10 years experience assisting individuals with disabilities in non-profit, K-12 education, and university settings. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Interpersonal Communication from Bowling Green State University.

Rachel Kruzel

Rachel Kruzel, ATP, is the Higher Education Specialist for Texthelp where she supports higher education institutions across the United States and Canada as they explore, adopt, and implement technology based literacy, STEM, and accessibility based solutions to help create more inclusive, equitable, and accessible campuses and learning spaces for all students and campus members. She is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional and spent over ten years working as an Assistive Technology and Accommodations Specialist in Disability Resource Offices prior to coming to Texthelp. During her time in higher ed, she built and developed assistive technology programs at both schools she worked at, as well as coordinated the provision of accommodations. Rachel is a national expert in the areas of assistive technology, digital accessibility, accessible course materials, and accommodation provision around testing and notetaking. Rachel presents both regionally and nationally on these topics and others, as well as consults with students, parents, schools, and organizations.