COVID-19 and the Accessibility Spotlight

Thursday, October 28 | 12:40PM–1:00PM ET
Viewing Location: Online
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: Presentation/Panel Session
The lasting impact of the pandemic on higher education and information technology is unknown. However, some lessons learned are already affecting the future of IT in higher education. One of them is the importance of digital accessibility. Based on national reports, many institutions have awakened to the broad need for digital accessibility. These conversations traditionally focused on supporting disabilities. But, the pandemic has brought a new wave of understanding the universal benefits of accessibility. This panel discussion will highlight how three Virginia public institutions are keeping the spotlight on digital accessibility. One pre-pandemic effort was a collaborative contract for captioning services. This led to the creation of a statewide organization called the Virginia Higher Education Accessibility Partners (VHEAP). VHEAP's work resulted in accessibility having a broader reach during the pandemic’s rapid transition to remote teaching and learning. We'll also discuss expanding support for captioning (post-production and live), improving document remediation, and increasing administrative and faculty buy-in.


  • Lori Kressin

    Coordinator of Academic Accessibility, University of Virginia
  • Christa Miller

    Director of Inclusive Media Design, Virginia Tech
  • Mark Nichols

    Senior Director Universal Design and Accessible Technologies, Virginia Tech
  • Korey Singleton

    Assistive Technology Initiative Manager, George Mason University