Join our webinar series

Global Accessibility Awareness Day at Blackboard

Join us online on May 18 to discuss trending topics on accessibility in education.

About the speakers:

Aaron Page

Accessibility Specialist, University of Montana

Aaron Page works with UMOnline and Central IT to help improve accessibility throughout the campus including conducting software accessibility evaluations. Aaron is a contributor to the IDPF EPUB Reading Systems working group, the Blackboard Collaborate Technical Preview Team, and the Moodle Accessibility Collaboration Group. Aaron regularly presents on accessibility topics at regional, national, and international conferences, including the Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. Aaron also served as keynote speaker for the 2014 Montana University System Extended Learning Institute and the 2016 Moot US.

Alistair McNaught

Accessibility Subject Matter Specialist at Jisc

Alistair serves as a subject matter specialist in Accessibility and Inclusion at Jisc. His role is to advise on how organisations can use technology to maximise accessibility. This involves best practice in supporting disabled learners but it also involves creating better experiences for all learners - and indeed staff. Alistair’s particular interest is in helping join together the elements that create accessible learning experience, working with a range of stakeholders from publishers to content creators, teaching staff, library staff, student support and IT teams. A key part of his role includes supporting practice and policy in a wide range of sectors so that as organisations use technology more they maximise accessibility benefits, minimise the barriers and help develop more independent resourceful learners.

Prior to his current role, Alistair spent 20 years in the classroom as a geography teacher, four years in full time staff development and then 10 years with Jisc TechDis.

Carlos García

Solutions Engineer, Blackboard

En Español: Carlos García ha formado parte de Blackboard desde septiembre 2014 como International Ingeniero de Soluciones para América Latina y el Caribe. Tiene más de 17 años de experiencia en el área de Tecnologías para la Educación. Previo a su incorporación a Blackboard, se desempeñó como Director de Servicios de Tecnología Educativa dentro de la Dirección de Operación de Servicios Tecnológicos; posición que ocupó desde 2000 y en donde tuvo la oportunidad de liderar proyectos como el Despliegue de la Plataforma Blackboard a los 31 Campus del Tecnológico de Monterrey además de los 32 Campus de Universidad Tec Milenio, Diseño e implantación del Servicio de Soporte Institucional para servicios de tecnología en la educación, Automatización de procesos para la administración de las plataformas educativas.

In English: Carlos García joined Blackboard in September 2014 as International Solutions Engineer for Latin America and the Caribbean. He has been in Education Technology area for more than 17 years. Prior to joining Blackboard, he served as Director of Educational Technology Services within the Technological Services Operations Direction; he led that position since 2000 and where he had the opportunity to lead projects such as the deployment of the Blackboard Academic Suite over 31 Campus of Tecnológico de Monterrey, in addition to the 32 Campus of Universidad Tec Milenio; Design and Implementation of the Institutional Support Service for education technology services, Automation of all operation processes for education technology services.

Diana Bailey

Grade Level Teacher, Lawrence Public Schools

Diana Bailey has taught elementary students for 12 years. Three years ago she implemented the blended learning model in order to personalize learning for every student in her classroom. Diana has been recognized with multiple awards, including the Unusually Excellent Educator Award, the Lawrence School District Teacher of the Year for 2014, and runner up for the Best of Lawrence 2014. Her continued desire to personalize learning for her students drives her passion to incorporate innovative technologies into her planning, instructing, and assessing.

Helen Petrie

Phd AFBPsS CPsychol FRSA

Professor Petrie is Professor of Human Computer Interaction in the Department of Computer Science at the University of York. She current teaches the Masters in Human Centred Interactive Technologies in the department, and supervises a number of MSc and PhD students. Helen’s primary research interests are: the design and evaluation of technologies for disabled and elderly people, methods and techniques for evaluation in human computer interaction, and the design and evaluation of technologies for cultural heritage.

Prior to her current role, Professor Petrie held various appointments at the University of Hertfordshire, including Professor of Psychology and Director of Sensory Disabilities Research Unit. She also served as Research Psychologies, at the Royal National Institution for the Blind in London.

Dr. James Cressey

Assistant Professor of Education at Framingham State University

Dr. James Cressey is a licensed special educator and nationally certified school psychologist. He has worked in school settings since 1999, in many roles including direct care staff, special education teacher, individual therapist, group therapist, family therapist, school psychologist, summer school administrator, consultant, and researcher. Currently, Dr. Cressey teaches courses in special education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a focus on universal design for learning, social-emotional learning, positive behavioral interventions and supports, multi-tiered systems of support, and assessment procedures. His most recent scholarship, “Universal Design for Learning: Using UDL to Make Teacher Education More Accessible and Inclusive for All,” has been published in Advancing next-generation elementary teacher education through digital tools and applications, published by IGI Global.

Kyleigh Edwards

Special Education Teacher, Lawrence Public Schools

Kyleigh Edwards is in her 3rd year of teaching special education in the Lawrence Public Schools. Prior to that, she was a paraeducator. She works alongside general education teachers to meet the needs of every student. Her ability to personalize learning for students in a blended learning environment enables them to access the curriculum while creating meaningful peer relationships.

Lucy Greco

Web Accessibility Evangelist, University of California, Berkeley

Lucy Greco has been blind since birth. During her college years, Greco realized the potential for technology to include people with disabilities in everyday activities. Upon graduating from college, instead of continuing her interest in literature and physical therapy, Greco became an accessible technology specialist. Her passion drove her to find the answers to these questions and more. In 2005, she first joined UC Berkeley as the assistive technology specialist for the Disabled Students Program to work with disabled students. In 2012, she joined IST as the campus web accessibility evangelist and now leads the UC Electronic Accessibility Leadership team

Marlene Zentz

Senior Instructional Designer and Accessibility Specialist, University of Montana

Marlene Zentz currently serves as Senior Instructional Designer and Accessibility Specialist at the University of Montana. In 2013, she co-founded the Moodle Accessibility Collaboration Group, an international group working to make Moodle a more accessible learning management system. Marlene speaks regularly at regional, national, and international events, emphasizing the strong belief that improving the accessibility of Moodle for assistive technology users improves the learning experience for all users. She has over 20 years of experience in K-12 and higher education and is currently pursuing a doctorate focused on the design of inclusive online learning environments.

Mary T. Weiner, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Distance Education, Gallaudet University

Mary T. Weiner, Ph.D. is a professor with the Department of Psychology at Gallaudet University and currently working as director of the Office of Distance Education at the institution. Weiner received her bachelor degree in psychology from Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1981 and her masters’ degree in school psychology from Gallaudet University in 1982. Her 1997 doctoral degree from University of Maryland is in human development. Weiner has been with Gallaudet University for 30 years.

Nicolaas Matthijs

Ally Product Manager, Blackboard

Nicolaas Matthijs is an entrepreneur and product creator with over 10 years of experience in Educational Technology. Nicolaas has worked at several leading R1 institutions such as Cambridge University, UC Berkeley and Georgia Tech, where he developed Learning Management Systems, Academic Collaboration Tools, Learning Analytics solutions and other learning tools. He has contributed to numerous Open Source projects and communities and is internationally recognized for bringing technical and user experience innovation to these communities, for which he has received several awards.

Nicolaas was also the co-founder and CEO of Fronteer, developing a revolutionary tool, called Ally, that helps institutions make their course materials more accessible for all learners. Following the acquisition of Fronteer by Blackboard, Nicolaas now acts as the Product Manager for Ally at Blackboard.

Susan D’Aloia

Client Success Advocate, Blackboard

Dr. Susan D’Aloia is an interdisciplinary educator and program developer who has worked as a consultant and trainer in the United States, Latin America and Asia. She has worked with public and private schools, non-traditional learning institutions and multiple colleges and universities. Susan has taught over 1,000 hours of fully online and blended learning instruction as well as serving as a Department Head and an Associate Director. She maintains a passion for digital remediation of content and processes, and working with the educators who continue to maintain and innovate learning.

Scott Ready

Principal Strategist, Blackboard

Scott Ready leads institutions in strategic planning for online programs through furthering technology adoption, the identification, development and implementation of new online programs and transforming institutions through accessibility awareness. He served as Director of Online Education at Spartanburg Community College where he developed the first Online Interpreter Training program in the nation. Prior to his more than 20 year career in academia, Scott was the Assistant Director of the Kansas Commission for the Deaf.

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