Positive Forward Movement: A University’s Digital Accessibility Journey and Strategies

Handouts Media

Presented at 9:15am in Windsor on Thursday, November 21, 2019.



  • Jen Bethmann, Web Accessibility Coordinator, Illinois State University

Session Details

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


This session explores “positive forward movements” and strategies for improving digital accessibility efforts across campus. Discover how Illinois State University is leveraging campus partnerships, establishing policy and procedures, and creating a new design system to improve usability and accessibility.


“Positive Forward Movement” is a mantra used to describe Illinois State University’s strides toward improving accessibility across its campus. Whether it’s a single step or flying at one hundred and twenty miles an hour, we are working to continuously improve our digital environments for all our students, faculty, staff, and the community. The last two and a half years has offered a growth of knowledge and training on web and digital accessibility. Our campus has gone from asking where to start to building relationships, and defining procedures and reviewing processes. By leveraging campus partnerships, engaging students, and developing policy and new design system, our campus is working to improve awareness, training, and procedures for purchasing and creating digital technologies. This session explores our “positive forward movements” and offers strategies for improving digital accessibility efforts across campus.


  1. Understand the importance of and strategies for starting conversations across your campus
  2. Get tips on making key partnerships across your campus to promote accessibility
  3. Learn how review processes and a design system is working to proactively address usability and accessibility.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Procurement, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Jen Bethmann

Bethmann is the Web Accessibility Coordinator for Illinois State University. She serves as a campus resource for web and application accessibility and usability standards and best practices. She is certified as a Trusted Tester from the Office of Accessible Systems and Technology with the Department of Homeland Security, and Adobe's PDF Accessibility Train-the-Trainer. Her goal is to educate others to progressively consider universal and inclusive design principles when creating and procuring digital content and products to ensure all digital technology is accessible and usable. She believes technology and digital content should be created to be used by everyone regardless of their situation or ability and seeks to empower others with knowledge and tools to do so.