Universal Design in Digital Publishing

Handouts Media

Presented at 2:15pm in Westminster IV on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.



  • Deb Castiglione, Director, Universal Design & Accessible Technologies, Cengage

Session Details

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


Not just accessibility, but universal design is critical to meet the diverse needs of learners in higher education today. An overview of what Cengage has done and is doing to integrate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and accessibility into current and future educational experiences will be provided. The specific needs/desires of learners in higher education and those that support them will be discussed.


Traditionally publishers have not prioritized accessibility or UDL. As publishers begin to intentionally and authentically commit to meet the needs of all students, not just those with disabilities, Cengage would like to share where we have been, what we are doing now, and where we plan to go in the future, in addition to building collaborative relationships with institutions of higher education in order to successfully meet the needs of all learners. Cengage has adopted inclusivity as one of its four quality learning design principles (personalization, intentionality, authenticity) and is striving to fulfill that commitment through the UDL principles. Cengage will provide an overview of organizational efforts (past and current) with respect to UDL and accessibility, as well as how we will demonstrate ongoing commitment to these efforts. Cengage will facilitate open, interactive conversation about what digital publishers can do to meet the needs and desires of all learners and help institutions avoid potential complaints and/or litigation.


  1. Realize Cengage’s commitment to UDL and accessibility.
  2. Communicate Cengage’s past efforts, current efforts and future plans to integrate UDL and accessibility.
  3. Discuss the universal design and accessibility needs/desires of learners in higher education from digital publishers.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Other, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Deb Castiglione

Deb Castiglione is the Director, Universal Design & Accessible Technologies at Cengage. She was previously the Universal Design & Instructional Technology Specialist at the University of Kentucky, where she earned a doctorate in distance learning. Deb brings skills, knowledge, and experience in instructional design/development, universal design, accessibility, and assistive technology. She has worked with children and adults with disabilities. She has developed and taught courses in instructional design, assistive technology, universal design, distance education delivery, and instructional technology for the University of Kentucky, Gateway Community & Technical College, the University of Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky University.