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Teaching Current and Future Online Learning Educators about Accessible Design

| Proposal No: 1953

Bios & Handouts


  • Sheryl Burgstahler, Director, Accessible Technology Services, University of Washington
  • Hadi Rangin, IT Specialist, University of Washington

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                

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

Summary of Session

How can we teach online learning designers and instructors how to make courses accessible to and usable by all of their students, including those with disabilities? Who needs to know what? The presenters will share experiences teaching this target population, using universal design as a framework.


How can we teach online learning designers and instructors how to make courses accessible to and usable by all of their students, including those with disabilities? Who needs to know what and how can they best learn what they need to know? The presenters will share experiences, perspectives, and useful resources. They have each taught online learning courses to help prepare faculty and practitioners to design and deliver accessible online courses. They will share lessons learned as they have taught online learning educators about basic concepts, potential beneficiaries, legal issues, approaches, strategies, and resources with regard to the creation and delivery of online courses that are accessible to and usable by all students, including those with disabilities. Universal design is used as a framework for designing courses and is recommended for ensuring the instruction is fully accessible and usable. An important part of the presentation will be to share suggestions regarding what topics are most important for various audiences. For example, what technical skills are needed by course administrators? By course developers/designers? By faculty?


  1. 1. What knowledge and skills online course designers and instructors need in order to be able to make their co
  2. 2. What have been successful strategies for teaching this content.
  3. 3. How instructors can apply universal design to online courses to minimize needs for student accommodation.

Speaker Bio(s)

Sheryl Burgstahler

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler founded and directs the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center and the ATC (Access Technology Center) as part of her role as Director of Accessible Technology Services at the University of Washington (UW). These centers promote (1) the support the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers and (2) the development of facilities, IT, services, and learning activities that are welcoming and accessible to individuals with disabilities. The ATC focuses efforts at the UW; the DO-IT Center reaches national and international audiences with the support of federal, state, corporate, foundation, and private funds. Dr. Burgstahler is an affiliate professor in the UW College of Education. She developed and taught the Accessibility and Compliance in Online Education online course offered by Rutgers University and currently teaches graduate courses in applications of universal design in higher education at City University of New York and Saint Louis University.

Hadi Rangin

Hadi Rangin is an IT Specialist in Accessible Technology Services at the University of Washington in Seattle. In this position, as well as in his extensive earlier education and education experiences he has worked with faculty, webmasters, online learning designers, technology companies, and other stakeholder groups to increase the development and use of IT that is accessible to all potential users, including those with disabilities. In his current position within UW Academic Technology Services his primary responsibilities to improve the accessibility of IT developed or purchased by the UW, including websites, applications software and multi-media. He has taught an online courses for current and future online learning designers and faculty on the universal design of online learning.