University of Maryland IT Accessibility Plan. From design to implementation.


Presented at 9:15am in Cotton Creek I on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.



  • Ana Palla-Kane, Senior Accessibility Specialist, University of Maryland
  • Susan Johnston, Instructional Designer | Personalized, University of Maryland

Session Details

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


In 2015 the University of Maryland DIT designed a 3-year IT Accessibility Plan focusing on web accessibility, course (re)design, multimedia development, eLearning and assistive technology tools. This presentation includes plan design and implementation, highlighting successes and challenges in the first year of plan implementation.


In 2015, a 3-year IT Accessibility Plan was developed at the University of Maryland to have the best level of accessibility that is reasonable to our systems, applications and services in conformance with state and federal regulations and standards. The plan was designed based on the recommendations of the IT Accessibility Committee, composed of a diverse group of individuals from across the campus. The plan focuses n the following strategic areas: Web Accessibility; Course (re)Design; Multimedia Development; eLearning Tools; and Assistive Technology Tools. The IT Accessibility Plan is being implemented by the Division of IT and it outlines steps to improve technical support to achieve accessible IT services. It does not include the establishment of minimum standards on campus or recommendations for enforcement of policies or guidelines related to accessibility. This presentation will include the steps taken by the Division of IT to design and implement the plan.


  1. Planning an IT Accessibility Plan
  2. Implementaing an IT Accessibility Plan
  3. Successes and Challenges of implementation University wide IT Accessibility Plan

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy

Speaker Bio(s)

Ana Palla-Kane

Dr. Ana Palla-Kane is a faculty in the Department of Kinesiology and works as an IT Accessibility specialist for the Division of Information Technology. She received her PhD in Education from the University of Virginia. She leading the Campus IT Accessibility Plan and serves as the interim chair for the UMD President’s Commission for Disability Issues. She is the founder and director of TerpAccess Disability Network. She designed and delivered Disability Awareness and Advocacy Training for faculty, students and staff at the University of Maryland. Dr. Palla-Kane is engaged in international initiatives relating to disability rights and empowering individuals with disabilities, including advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities. In Brazil, she has completed extensive work on inclusion of students with disabilities in educational settings. She is currently working in a “Sports for All” project funded by USAID.

Susan Johnston

Sue Johnston is an Instructional Designer with the University of Maryland’s Learning Technology Design group. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Goucher College, and was a middle school Special Education teacher before moving to higher education. Her focus is on helping faculty design content and activities that are accessible and adaptive and that lend themselves to personalization by creating “barrier-free” learning experiences for students through universal design techniques, adhering to federal and state laws and university policies that define standards for developing accessible course content and activities.