Our Other Tools: Courage, Freedom, Hospitality, Aspiration, and More


Presented at 11:45am in Windsor on Friday, November 16, 2018.



  • Scott Marshall, Associate Director for Instructional Technology and Accessibility, University of Minnesota
  • Janet Smith, Instructional Designer, University of Arizona

Session Details

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


Beyond technical tools, our work calls us to use qualities like compassion, courage, hospitality, and more. These qualities can be tools, and like all tools, they require intentional practice to wield effectively. We will explore what these qualities are, their presence in our work, and ways we might practice, nurture, and make them a priority.


We spend a lot of time learning how to solve the technical problems of inaccessibility with a variety of technical tools. If we are going to enable the capacity for accessibility to thrive in our organizations, we also need to practice and build capacity for “other tools” such as courage, compassion, aspiration, and more. This workshop will nurture these qualities by exploring these questions: --How do we define these concepts? --How do we think about them? How do they make us feel? --To what extent are they present in our work? In the work of digital accessibility in our organizations more generally? Examples? --In what ways do we practice and enable them? --In what ways do we disable them? --If these ideas were more a part of our work, what would be present that isn’t currently? --To what extent are you willing to commit to deepening your practice of these qualities?


  1. Technical tools aren't enough to create sustainable accessibility.
  2. We need to understand the importance of these "other tools" in our work and practice them.
  3. Practicing these qualities is risky and we need to become more comfortable with them.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Scott Marshall

Dad, husband, disc-thrower, reader, woodworker: Scott is practicing using his privilege and gifts to make higher ed digitalia more accessible to more people.

Janet Smith

Janet Smith serves as an Instructional Designer leading quality assurance initiatives at the University of Arizona with the Office of Digital Learning. She manages a multitiered and collaborative quality assurance process to ensure that courses developed for UA Online are designed for student success and engagement. Janet works with partners across campus to integrate best practices around course design, copyright, UDL, and accessibility into the instructional design process and leads the Quality Matters program for the university.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona, her master's degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education from Northern Arizona University, and a graduate certificate in Educational Technology from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time, Janet enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and practicing and teaching yoga.


Our Other Tools Community Slides Our Other Tools takeaway card text