Join the Journey: 2023 Digital Accessibility Conference

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The North Carolina Higher Ed Digital Accessibility Collaborative invites you to Join the Journey: 2023 Digital Accessibility Conference. This free conference will be held online via Zoom on Thursday, June 15, 2023.  Each session can be attended individually, or you can join us all day.

Recordings of presentations (if permitted) will be available on the NCHEDAC Resources YouTube Channel


9:00 AM – 9: 45 AM Access for People with Disabilities to Online Programs and Resources

Judith Risch, Co-Lead for the National Digital Access Team with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights

Judy has been an Office for Civil Rights attorney for nearly 20 years. Currently, she is the Co-Lead of OCR’s National Web Accessibility team. Before coming to OCR, she finished a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and her law degree. Part of her work experience also includes teaching in special education and the development of online instruction. Her favorite part of her job is helping people serve students better and preventing problems before they happen.

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Being Intentional in Connecting: Inclusive Communication Best Practices

Being Intentional in Connecting Presentation Slide Deck (New Tab)

Being Intentional in Connecting Conference Recording

In this session, we will break down common misconceptions about accessibility practices, explore communicating with intent, and brainstorm ways we can continue to advocate for our users.
Emily Gregg, Digital Strategy Manager for Information Systems, Wake Forest University

Emily Gregg smiling in front of neutral background

Emily Gregg is an accomplished creative communicator with 15 years in the field. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Meredith College, where she was President of the American Institute for Graphic Arts and Editor for the Colton Review, a literary journal. She has worked in various industries, including non-profit, local government, healthcare IT, and higher education. She is passionate about typography, color theory, and UX design. Outside work, she volunteers for the Piedmont Environmental Alliance and the local Board of Elections. GO DEACS!

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Accessible and Inclusive Instruction: A Human-Centered Approach

Accessible and Inclusive Instruction Presentation Slide Deck (New Tab)

Accessible and Inclusive Instruction Conference Recording

At its core, accessible and inclusive instruction is a human-centered process. This interactive presentation will explore accessibility in course design from theory to practical application and provides actionable steps you can use and share. 

Amy Archambault, Instructional Design Specialist, Instructional Design Specialist, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for Student Support, Appalachian State University & Emily Wilson, Instructional Design Specialist, Appalachian State University.

Headshot of Amy Archambault, a white woman with short blonde hair and glasses who is smiling. She is wearing a black cardigan sweater with a dark maroon top and jewelry.

Amy Archambault (pronounced R-sham-BOW) (she/her) is an instructional design specialist supporting the College of Arts and Science faculty members at Appalachian State University. With over 10 years in instructional design and faculty development, she has used her education and experience to support various faculty on inclusive online teaching, course design, and facilitation practices. She is passionate about collaborating with faculty and their students to create a supportive learning environment.  She is active in the Design Justice Network and has worked collaboratively with a small group of international instructional designers to create a working group focusing on the Network’s 10 Principles. Amy is starting her Doctor of the Design program at NC State University for Fall 2023 and is interested in ethics, design thinking/justice, and co-design in her instructional design practice.

Headshot of Emily Wilson from the shoulders up smiling in a gold shirt and black jacket.

Emily Wilson is an Instructional Design Specialist in the Center for Teaching and Learning for Student Success at Appalachian State University. Emily enjoys partnering with faculty and departments to enhance teaching and learning and promote inclusive practices. Before joining CETLSS, Emily was an Academic Instructional Technologist at the Wake Forest University School of Law. Emily is committed to educational experiences centered on student success, belonging, and equity.

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Accessible Document Basics

Accessible Document Basics Presentation Slide Deck (New Tab)

Accessible Document Basics Conference Recording

In this session, attendees will learn what makes a document accessible and how to create documents usable by as many people as possible. We’ll discuss how to use headings, fonts, lists, images, tables, and hyperlinks to improve the digital accessibility of document files.

Erin wears an SCC polo and sits at a desk. There is a mug with "SCC" on it in the foreground of the picture.

Erin McCully, Director of Learner Accessibility & Equity, Southwestern Community College

Erin McCully is the Director of Learner Accessibility & Equity at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, North Carolina. She started in the education field by teaching K-12 music and chorus and eventually made her way into instructional design and E-Learning. While working at SCC in the E-Learning department, she got involved with SCC’s Web Accessibility plan and began learning as much as possible about digital accessibility. She works with faculty to make instruction and materials more inclusive and accessible.

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Accessible Procurement: Ten Questions to Ask

Accessible Procurement Presentation Slide Deck (New Tab)

Accessible Procurement Conference Recording

Higher education institutions typically depend on external partners to provide or build digital platforms to support our work, often much more than relying on internal teams to create solutions. Making it clear what vendors and contractors need to do to meet our accessibility requirements is probably the most important thing we can do to improve the accessibility of our digital campuses. This presentation will guide the questions you should ask yourself about internal procurement processes to support accessibility and the questions to ask your vendors and contractors.

Michael Vaughn, Associate Director for Digital Accessibility, Yale University & Christine Mongillo, Digital Accessibility Coordinator, Yale University

Headshot of Michael Vaughn

Mike (he/him/his) joined Yale University in February 2018 as the Associate Director of Digital Accessibility, a role created to help grow operational support for digital accessibility at Yale. Reporting to the Director of Web Technologies within Information Technology Services (ITS), Mike’s team provides consultation, remediation, and training with the goal of creating a world-class accessible online experience at Yale for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Mike has over 20 years of higher education IT experience, having previously served as the IT director for the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, with earlier roles directing information technology at Indiana University. Mike is an International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA).

Headshot of Christine Mongillo

Chris (she/her/hers) joined Yale University in April 2019 as the Digital Accessibility Coordinator. Her primary responsibilities include working with vendors, product owners, and Procurement staff to integrate accessible language in contracts for digital purchases and to understand best practices to reach compliance with WCAG 2.1 standards. Chris is an International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC).

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM Accessibility Tools & Strategies to Test for Accessible Digital Content

Accessiblity Tools & Strategies to Test: Presentation Slide Deck (New Tab)

Accessibility Tools & Strategies to Test Conference Recording

In this session, attendees will learn how to test various digital materials for accessibility. We will look at testing websites using keyboard-only navigation, various plugins and tools for testing websites, and what are some red flags to look for. We will also look at some basic tests you can do in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

 Headshot of Chelsea Porter

Chelsea Porter, Head of Digital Accessibility at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chelsea is the new Head of Digital Accessibility at UNC-Chapel Hill. She took on this role in February after being a Digital Accessibility Consultant at UNC for three years. Chelsea has a background in teaching through the North Carolina community college system, where she taught Digital Effects and Animation for 11 years. She then changed careers to web design, where she learned more about digital accessibility. This knowledge drove a passion for inclusion, eventually landing her at UNC’s Digital Accessibility Office.

The conference is a free professional development opportunity to learn about digital accessibility. It is open to everyone in higher education in North Carolina, including accessibility novices and those with more accessibility experience.

For questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with

Conference session recordings (if permitted by the presenter) will be posted to the NCHEDAC Resources YouTube Channel.

Join the Journey is sponsored in part by UNC CAUSE. UNC CAUSE promotes cooperation and information exchange between the campuses of the UNC system in all areas related to information technology. See for more information.

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