Register for the 2020 Accessibility Symposium

March 20, 2020
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Attend in-person at Minnesota State University, Mankato
or online via Zoom
View the agenda

This conference brings together learning space design staff, accessibility staff, administration, and faculty to make sure that accessibility and usability are always a key part of our learning space design strategy. 

We are focusing on the available technologies and how they meet, or don’t meet, the accessibility needs of students. Additionally, we will have a focus on the legal ramifications of accessibility by hosting accessibility advocate and world-renowned author of Structured Negotiation, A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits, Lainey Feingold. Lainey is a disability rights lawyer with a distinguished career in digital accessibility and structured negotiation. We will also bring in local experts from institutions that have responded to accessibility lawsuits.

View the agenda below. Each session will be live captioned.

Questions? Contact Matt Clay.


Time (Central Standard Time)

Session Descriptions

9:00 – 9:50 amAccessibility Templates and 3rd Party Integrations with D2L 

The expanding use of learning management systems has extended the desire for more robust integrations with third party applications.  Ensuring and supporting the modular components of an LMS can be challenging when they impact product accessibility.  Accessibility templates can be used to maintain consistency in D2L with cascading style sheets to format the content in HTML files making it easier for course instructors and instructional designers to create accessible, professional looking HTML content files. Learn more about these challenges and steps we are taking to improve accessibility in D2L. 
10:00 – 10:50 am Making Video Conferencing Accessible 

Teleconferencing tools can help reach students outside of the traditional classroom. But how do you make sure the content is still accessible? Join us for a conversation with experts from Zoom on tools available to provide closed captioning, transcription, screen reader compatibility, and keyboard accessibility.  
11:00 – 11:50 am Training for Accessibility at Lake Superior College 
Lake Superior College offers a four week, self-paced fully online course, that helps participants understand how to create materials used in an online environment including email, website, or using the HTML editor in D2L. Find out more about this offering that offers the ability to earn micro-credentials and badges for key elements of accessibility.  Learn about what was involved in creating and delivering the short course that is intended to prepare individuals to confidently create materials that are accessible to a wider audience. 
12:00 – 1:00 pm Accessibility Today Keynote: Lainey Feingold

Join as Feingold shares recent highlights from the digital accessibility legal landscape in the United States and beyond. The law is part of the digital accessibility conversation because accessibility is a civil right. Why? The right to participate in all aspects of society in the 21st century, including education and employment, is not possible without accessibility. Privacy and confidentiality are compromised when technology does not work for everyone.

We will talk about foundational laws and legal actions that support digital accessibility and answer questions like the following:

• What did the U.S. Supreme Court say about accessibility in the Domino’s Pizza case and why does it matter?
• How might the recent settlement between Harvard and the National Association of the Deaf about captioning impact higher education in Minnesota and across the country?
• Why has there been a 3000% increase in the number of web accessibility lawsuits filed in the United States over the past three years?
• What best practices can help organizations avoid a legal claim?
• Where could the law be going next?

These questions and more will be answered in a straight-forward talk without legal jargon. Digital accessibility is a civil right increasingly recognized across the globe. Come learn key take-aways about the digital accessibility legal space so you can “put the law in your pocket” to advance digital inclusion for all.

More can be found on her website at and on Twitter at @LFLegal. 
1:00 – 1:50 pm Committed to Full Accessibility 

Wichita State entered an “all content” accessibility agreement with the National Federation of the Blind in 2016.  The University has agreed to full accessibility of all content by July, 2020. Dr. Speer will join us to talk about that journey, what has worked, and what has not, and share insights about how to shift a campus culture to one that embraces full accessibility in all aspects of campus life. 
1:50 – 2:10 pm Break
2:10 – 3:00 pm Blackboard Ally  

Metro state is in the process of exploring the potential of a new tool that focuses on making digital course content more accessible.  Blackboard Ally is a tool designed to identify inaccessible content, create alternative formats of materials, and generate reports which can all be helpful in mitigating accessibility issues and can  help educate individuals on accessibility.  Find out more about the discovery process during this session. 
3:10 – 4:00 pm Accessibility Work Group 

Join us in a conversation around various initiatives striving to enhance equity and accessibility across the Minnesota State College and University system. Hear from the system office on how various work groups are incorporating key elements of accessibility and equity into their strategic planning for upcoming initiatives.  We will highlight additional professional development opportunities where successes and concerns can be shared with individuals who are also passionate and committed to equity and accessibility in education.   

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