Providing classroom accommodations in a digital age


Presented at 11:45am in Penrose 2 on Friday, November 10, 2023.



  • Michael Mace, IT Manager, Indiana University

Session Details

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


Digital technology integration into the classroom has revolutionized instruction, but has made the work of accommodating students with disabilities much more difficult. Gone are the days of simply providing textbooks in an alternative format and a note taker. Digital courseware is much more complex and requires much more work to accommodate. We need a different approach.


Digital courseware, virtual reality, tablets, digital whiteboards, flipped classrooms, learning management systems. These are a sample of the new technologies entering the classroom. It’s an exciting time in education, except when students have a disability. Many of these new systems lack common accessibility features. So workarounds and alternatives must be crafted to ensure equal access for all students. Herein lies the problem. It is often difficult to extract the learning material from the digital environment to produce alternative formats. Even if it is possible, the amount of lead time to do so often far exceeds the time available when an accommodation letter is delivered to the instructor. Disability services offices often do not have the time they need to do this work. There’s also a technical aspect to accommodating advanced teaching technologies. While disability services offices may have staff members with in-depth knowledge of assistive technology, they are not the experts when it comes to learning technologies. Careful coordination with learning technologists must occur in order to ensure equally effective alternative access and participation. Over the past few years, IU has worked diligently to try and get in front of this problem. In this presentation, we will provide a roadmap on how you too can get in front of the tsunami of digital educational technology and begin to reduce the amount of frantic last-minute meetings and late-night accommodation work. At the end of the presentation, attendees will leave with a tangible list of next steps they can take to ensure this new digital revolution leaves no one behind.


  1. Accommodating digital learning technology can be difficult and time consuming
  2. Knowledge to accommodate digital learning technology goes beyond the disability services office
  3. A new strategy to manage digital learning technology must be developed

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Alternate Format, Captioning/Transcription, Faculty Development & Support, Procurement, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Michael Mace

Michael Mace is the manager of the Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center for the Indiana University system. In the seven years since Michael has joined the team, he has been a driver of change to move Indiana University forward in its accessibility journey by increasing advocacy and awareness around each of Indiana's nine campuses, plus its online program Michael received his Master’s Degree in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University. A huge proponent of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Michael continues to research practical methods for applying the concepts of UDL using technology in both online and traditional courses.