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Accessibility Policy and Implementation across Units at Michigan State University

Proposal No: 2701

Bios & Handouts


  • Phillip J Deaton, Michigan State University
  • Kate Sonka, , Michigan State University

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                  

Length of Session (in hours): 2-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: General Conference

Summary of Session

Learn how different units at Michigan State University are collaborating to handle accessibility policy administration, implementation, remediation, and the application of WCAG 2.0 across the institution.


Michigan State University is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. MSU has an accessibility policy which facilitates this inclusivity. Units within MSU have collaborated to develop accessible content through faculty development, staff partnerships, and communities of practices. This session will have brief discussions and overviews from units across campus, providing insight into: working with colleges and departments to develop accessibility plans within their own colleges and departments, implementing a 5-year accessibility plan college-wide, working with and teaching students how to evaluate and remediate courses and websites, and understanding the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in the context of education.


  1. Accessibility policy and implementation across units at a Big Ten University.
  2. Student and staff perspectives on how to get faculty, staff, and students involved in accessibility.
  3. Remediation strategies for achieving WCAG 2.0 conformance in courses and websites and beyond.

Speaker Bio(s)

Phillip J Deaton

Phillip Deaton is a student at the College of Arts and Letters where he started the web accessibility and usability program wherein he trains student employees to conduct accessibility evaluations on courses and websites and provide faculty with accessibility resources. Phil created the Making Learning Accessible project at MSU in April of 2014, which provides tutorial content for university faculty detailing how to design accessible documents across a variety of media. Phil is also a User Experience Intern at Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting where he performs accessibility evaluations against WCAG 2.0 and Section 508, and does user experience research in several areas including information architecture and usability testing. Additionally, Phil participates in MSU's Web Accessibility Working Group, Accommodating Technology Community, and WebDev CAFE. Phil is passionate about training students, faculty, and staff in best practices for web accessibility.

Kate Sonka

Kate Sonka is an Academic Specialist in the College of Arts and Letters at MSU. Ms. Sonka holds a Master’s degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and a TESOL certificate from DePaul University. Her areas of interest include second language acquisition, the role of language in identity development, and the use of technology in education.


Accessibility Policy and Implementation Across Units at Michigan State University