Talking to Faculty about Accessibility

Handouts Media

Presented at 3:30pm in Meadowbrook I/II on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.



  • Gaeir Dietrich, Access Specialist, Consultant

Session Details

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


How do you get faculty members interested in accessibility? How do you get them to want to create accessible documents? This session will explore lessons learned over many years of working with faculty members and share the messages that have worked best.


Many of us have faced the issue of trying to explain to faculty members what accessibility is all about and the even bigger issue of how to get them engaged in providing accessible materials. This session will explore different messages for faculty, what works and what doesn't. Over many years, we have tried different approaches until we finally found one that really works. We will share what works and what doesn't, and we will reveal the one strategy that will have faculty asking you to please train them on creating accessible documents.


  1. Explaining accessibility to faculty
  2. Using the message of "enlightened self-interest" to engage faculty in creating accessible materials
  3. Understanding Section 504 and the "fully funded" mandate

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Other, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Alternate Format

Speaker Bio(s)

Gaeir Dietrich

Gaeir Dietrich is a nationally recognized expert in the field of alternate media, assistive technology, and Section 508 compliance. Gaeir has served on advisory boards for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Bookshare, the DIAGRAM Center, the Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC), and the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center. In 2010-2011, she served as the chair for the federal Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education.