Teach Access: Bringing accessible design and development learning to higher ed


Presented at 2:15pm in Cotton Creek II on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.



  • Larry Goldberg, Senior Director of Accessible Media, Oath
  • David Chesney, Lecturer IV, University of Michigan
  • TBD , ,

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Not provided
  • Type of session: General Conference


One of the greatest challenges to making accessible technology more ubiquitous is a lack of awareness and understanding of basic accessibility issues, concepts and best practices. To address this urgent need, a unique collaboration of academia, industry and advocates for people with disabilities has been launched:Teach Access (www.teachaccess.org)


Today, knowledge of accessible development is limited to a handful of domain experts. To reach the goal of making technology accessible to everyone, we must broaden expertise across industry. Accessibility must become mainstream, via exposure of all technology students in college to accessibility principles.

Students in fields such as design, computer sciences and human computer interaction must be better prepared to enter the workforce and create future technologies that are truly inclusive. Only then will technology reach its true potential for connecting and enabling everyone in the world. Teach Access has begun building this foundation of knowledge in higher education, incorporating enhanced training and collaborations with people with disabilities. The project's priorities includes a focus on Core Education, Academic Leadership, Learning Tools, and Industry Initiatives.


  1. Industry's critical accessibility skills workforce gap
  2. Higher ed's efforts to teach accessibility as separate courses and within core tech courses.
  3. How the disability community can contribute to the effort.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Assistive Technology, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Larry Goldberg

Larry is Senior Director of Accessible Media at Oath (the company formed by Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo in June of 2017 and the subsequent merger of AOL and Yahoo brands). In this role, he is responsible for assuring that Oath's many media offerings are as accessible as possible to people with disabilities, starting with closed captioning of thousands of videos hosted on our mobile apps and web sites. Oath produces dozens of original programs - most of which are captioned - and provides captions for thousands of partner videos, including content from the New York Times, CNBC, AP, Reuters, MLB, NFL, movie trailers, the Condé Nast brands and more.

Larry joined Yahoo/Oath in June of 2014, having previously worked at WGBH Boston, where he founded and directed its National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM). NCAM focused on research and development, public policy initiatives and strategic partnerships for global impact on inclusive media and technology. Larry was directly involved in such ground-breaking legislation as the TV Decoder Circuitry Act, The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. He led efforts to create standards adopted by media organizations and the FCC to implement legislated mandates for accessible technology.

David Chesney

Shea Tanis is Associate Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities which resides under the University of Colorado President’s office. She is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the Anschutz Medical Campus with grant funding supporting the development of cognitively accessible online curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilities. A portion of Shea's work at the Coleman Institute has been to work collaboratively with faculty in the departments of computer science, bioengineering, physics and education across the four campuses of the University of Colorado System to advance pedagogy and awareness of accessibility particular to cognitive accessibility.