Panel: Universal Design: from Teaching to Practice


Scheduled at 8:00am in WB I on Wednesday, November 15 (2017).



  • Hadi Rangin, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington
  • Jon Gunderson, Coordinator of IT Accessibility, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • Marc Thompson, , University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Session Details

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


In this panel discussion, we discuss challenges to incorporating accessibility in all phases of the design and development process as well as some current educational approaches to building the culture, infrastructure, knowledge and expertise needed to more effectively streamline accessibility in the development process.


Accessibility awareness has grown significantly over the past few years and many software companies and local developers are now eager to incorporate accessibility. This general change in outlook is significant, but fully integrating accessibility in each phase of the software development process has been difficult to accomplish. Incorporating functional accessibility in the user interaction, user interface design, coding practice and QA is more complex than we assumed. Some of the factors that complicate accessibility include a general lack of accessibility knowledge and expertise, use of shared components, complexity of accessibility standards, and the difficulty of producing a balanced, inclusive solution that works for all users, rather than specific groups of users. In this panel discussion, we will elaborate on these issues and share some pre-emptive steps we can take through education to build the culture, infrastructure, knowledge and expertise needed to more effectively streamline accessibility in the development process.


  1. Existing challenges to incorporating accessibility in the design and development process
  2. Strategic education initiatives in badging
  3. Limitations/Sustainability of educating developers through collaboration & long-term education initiatives in certificate programs

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Hadi Rangin

Hadi Rangin is an Information Technology Accessibility Specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle. In this position he is tasked with improving access to information technologies for all users, including those with disabilities. To do this Hadi works with and advises software engineers, designers, administrators, and purchasers on accessible implementation techniques, quality assurance, and best practices. Some of the higher education vendors Hadi has collaborated with include Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Canvas, Elsevier, Ebsco, Ex-Libris, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, Google, Qualtrics, Ellucian, Workday, ServiceNow, Trumba, Innotas, Zoom, and many more.

Additionally, Hadi teaches the Universal Design Principles for Online Learning as well as the Certificate of Professional Development course in Information Accessibility Design and Policy for the University of Illinois.

Hadi's educational background is in Computer Science with a focus on Network Management and Human-Computer Interfaces. As someone who is blind, Hadi brings a wealth of personal and professional experiences to the many spheres he works within.

Jon Gunderson

Dr. Jon Gunderson is the Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology Accessibility in the Division of Disability Resources and Education Services (DRES). He is responsible for computer and information technology accessibility issues for students with disabilities at the University of Illinois. He is a member of the W3C ARIA working group. He is the primary software developer of the open source OpenAjax Accessibility Evaluation library and Functional Accessibility Evaluator 2.0 (FAE). He has taught numerous online courses and workshops on accessible web design including courses on using the new W3C Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) specifications to create accessible web applications. He leads both regional and national consortiums of higher educational institutions to promote and collaborate on IT accessibility.

Marc Thompson

Dr. Thompson is a Senior Instructional Designer and Team Lead at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He has taught at the university level for 30 years and has over 15 years of experience teaching online courses and providing online teaching instruction. In addition to his teaching experience, he has a background in web design, instructional media, and web-based learning platforms. He is the accessibility liaison for the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois and has presented at a number of workshops and conferences on topics related to the creation of accessible course content and the accessibility of web conferencing systems and learning management systems.