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The Challenges of Emerging Technology in Online Education: Tips and Tools for Ensuing Accessibility in the Online Environment

Proposal No: 2678

Bios & Handouts


  • Steven Salter, Director, Student Access and Wellness, Ashford University
  • Beth Lund, Technology Accessibility Specialist, Ashford University

Disability Area:            

Topic Area:                  

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Not providedExpertise Level: Intermediate Type of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

Existing and emerging technologies create endless opportunities to enhance and refine the online learning experience. This session will explore strategies for ensuring the integration of new technologies to build a more engaging learning environment also proactively consider the unique needs of students and accessibility of the online environment.


The landscape of post-secondary education continues to evolve. With Online and distance education programs becoming more and more prevalent, instructional designers and faculty members are looking for ways to make the learning experience more engaging. While technology has the potential to enhance the student experience on many levels, without thoughtful consideration of accessibility needs and student learning preferences during the instructional design process, many students can be excluded from participation. Historically, there has been a reliance on Disability Professionals to address accessibility needs through accommodations, but something needs to change. This exploratory session will provide an overview of some of the challenges that emerging technologies can present when trying to ensure an accessible online learning environment along with strategies to build a culture of shared responsibility and proactive consideration of accessibility needs across the institution.


  1. Understand the shared responsibility of ensuring an accessible learning environment
  2. Learn strategies for building awareness of accessibility concerns in the online environment
  3. Identify steps to build strategic partnerships for supporting accessibility of online course content

Speaker Bio(s)

Steven Salter

Steven Salter is the Director for Student Access and Wellness at Ashford University. He holds a Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Steven has close to 15 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities in various settings. For the past six years, Steven has worked in the Office of Student Access and Wellness, as a direct service provider, Assistive Technology Specialist, and now in his role as Director. The majority of Ashford University’s programs are offered in a format that is 100% online and one of Steven’s primary responsibilities is to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended.

Beth Lund

Beth Lund is Ashford University’s Technology Accessibility Specialist. Prior to joining the Office of Student Access and Wellness, Beth acquired a wide array of experiences in the field of Information Technology, including business process analytics, and business requirement development. Her strong orientation toward process development and requirements gathering have played an integral role in creating an environment that understands the shared responsibilities of ensuring accessibility of the online learning environment. Beth co-chairs the Ashford University Accessibility Roundtable and blogs regularly to share best practices for creating accessible course materials to be utilized in the online setting at Ashford University.


The Challenges of Emerging Technology in Online Education