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The Next Generation of Accessible Materials: Born Accessible

| Proposal No: 910

Bios & Handouts


  • Lisa Wadors Verne, Program Manager: Education, Research and Partner, Benetech

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: Intermediate Type of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

The educational landscape is evolving with the growth of etextbooks and increasing use of visualized data. Benetech strives to help students with print disabilities meaningfully access the same materials as their peers.This session will discuss the tools that are available for creating this content.


There has been a fundamental shift in the way people with a without disabilities access information: eBooks, online courses, user-created materials, open educational resources, and the widespread use of graphics to convey information have created a “new normal” for how we teach and learn. While these resources are readily available, too many of them are not accessible. For people with visual and/or physical impairments and severe learning disabilities, often times they face barriers to printed text and images. To address the gaps in assessable educational content, however more and more educators are becoming content creators themselves. With technology driving the way students access educational materials, now is the time to change the way this content is created. We will discuss Bookshare and the DIAGRAM Center and how they are exploring ways to use touch-screen technology, tactile graphics, and smart images to make images more interactive and dynamic.


  1. Understanding the future of educational materials
  2. 1) Why is it important for educators to understand how content is created?
  3. 2) What are the tools available to educators to support the development of accessible content?

Speaker Bio(s)

Lisa Wadors Verne

Dr. Lisa Wadors Verne, is the Program Manager for Education focusing on for Benetech and its literacy services including Bookshare, Route 66 and Diagram. In this role she is the project lead for 3D Printing: New Educational Opportunities for Students with Print Disabilities funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the project lead for a private grant that supports parents of children with Learning Differences. She has doctorate in Special Education and Policy from a the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University, Joint Doctoral program with a focus on teachers’ beliefs about including children with special needs in typically developing classrooms. With over 10 years in Educational research and application Dr. Wadors Verne has particular expertise in special education policy and law, inclusion and family and school collaboration. Dr. Wadors Verne is currently interested in the use of technology in classrooms for meaningful inclusion.