Understanding The Digital Tools And Technology At Your Fingertips – You Don’t Need To Be An Expert!


Presented at 9:15am in Gov Square 10 on Friday, November 19, 2021.



  • Crystal Rose Hill-Farrell, Accessibility Specialist, Wesleyan University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Digital technology is for everyone, but can be overwhelming. By knowing which questions to ask, and how to find answers, we can increase our knowledge without the need to become an expert in any one program. By using an individualized approach to working with others, we can provide access to a wider range of individuals within a reasonable budget.


It is easy to get caught up in finding “the assistive technology program” that has all solutions for all individuals. Often overlooked are digital tools built into devices, as well as free and low-cost programs which can provide sufficient access to individuals who may not require all the offerings of expensive licenses. Creating a personal database of digital tools and resources, and knowing how to explore new programs, are the first steps towards increasing our ability to provide effective support to a wide-range of individuals.

In this session, we will discuss some digital tools built into devices and free and low-cost programs; participants are encouraged to share tools and programs they have used as well. We will also review tips, strategies, and key questions to ask that can quickly engage individuals with digital tools. Finally, we will touch on how to best provide continued support to others (and ourselves) in learning and using digital tools for productivity and access.


  1. We don't know what we don't know... The first step in learning something new is asking "Could this be easier?"
  2. Choices, choices, choices... Technology devices have many built-in tools; how do we know which are effective?
  3. Finding the right fit... Identifying, learning, and using the right tools for budget-friendly effectiveness.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Crystal Rose Hill-Farrell

Crystal Rose Hill-Farrell has been the Accessibility Specialist at Wesleyan University since July of 2016. Working in the Student Academic Resources department, her area of focus is to provide assistive technology consultations and training to individuals and groups on campus; she also started a Peer Technology Specialist program on campus. Her primary purpose is to assist others in learning how to use technology to their advantage, especially the free tools that are built into everyday devices. Crystal Rose has conducted workshops on digital tools and assistive technology for the Connecticut Association on Higher Education and Disability, the Advancing Digital Accessibility Programs at Liberal Arts Colleges group, as well as various faculty, staff, and student groups at Wesleyan.

Crystal Rose also manages Wesleyan’s Peer Tutoring Program, provides academic support to students through one-on-one meetings and group workshops, and assists in coordinating accommodations for students with disabilities. She has been a professional in the Disability Services field in higher education since 2010; she also worked in the field during her graduate and undergraduate programs. During this time, she has been an active member of CT AHEAD, and served on the Board for the 2019-2021 term. Crystal Rose holds a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Arts in the same from Eastern Connecticut State University. Fun fact: she also holds an Associate of Arts degree in Horticulture.