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Accessibility Panel Discussion - July 23

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Presentation Agenda

  • Setting the Stage: Accessibility in eLearning -- Paul Foster
  • Introduction of the Panelists -- Dave Rathbun
  • What is Accessibility and Why is it Important? A look at Section 504, Section 508 and the Americans with Disabilities Act -- Sarah Schroeder
  • UC Libraries and Adaptive Technologies -- Deborah Tenofsky
  • Creating Accessible Courses that Benefit All Learners -- Melinda Rhodes
  • Creating an Inclusive Educational Environment: Identifying and Accommodating Students with Learning Disabilities -- Michael Southern
  • Testing Services -- Angela Zippin
  • Connecting Educators and Learners to Resources: How Support Teams Can Help -- Paul Foster
  • How Principles of Accessibility and Universal Design are Informing our Evolving eLearning Ecosystem -- Chris Edwards
  • Finding Answers and Resources: Canopy's Accessibility Portal -- Dave Rathbun
  • Questions and Answers

About the Speakers

Paul Foster

Paul Foster serves as the Director of eLearning & Design for UC Information Technologies (UCIT) at the University of Cincinnati. Paul has been with the University of Cincinnati for more than 20 years and has previously managed various services such as student email, computer labs, and learning systems. Since 2004, Paul has managed UC’s Blackboard hosting service that offers low-cost learning management system (LMS) hosting to Ohio schools. Paul is dedicated to providing students with access to affordable, high-quality digital resources. He also serves as an adjunct instructor in UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.

Melinda Rhodes

Melinda Rhodes serves as interim director of the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning. Her focus involves professional development for faculty in the areas of eLearning resources, course design, digital portfolios and online and hybrid course instruction, as well as support for other CET&L institutes and trainings.

Her background in higher education administration includes serving as assistant dean of the faculty at Cottey College and on a number of committees focusing on academic program evaluation and curriculum design. Prior to entering higher education, she was managing editor of community newspapers in southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas.

Melinda received her Ph.D., in Higher Education Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.; her Ed.S. in Community Colleges and M.A. in English from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan.; her B.A. in English from Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, Mo., and her Associate of Arts from Cottey College, Nevada, Mo.

Michael S. Southern

Michael S. Southern is Director of Disability Services on campus where he’s had this title since January of 2011. He’s been at UC since May of 2001 and has worked with students with disabilities for almost 20 years as a Rehabilitation Counselor at the Kentucky Department of Rehabilitation and as Director of Disability Services at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. While in Bowling Green, he’s served as Vice President and President for the Mayors’ Commission for Persons with Disabilities providing advocacy and resource to the community regarding the education and employment needs of persons with disabilities in the community. He’s often called to share his expertise on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and to present  strategies for students with disabilities transitioning from High School to Post-Secondary. Michael’s degrees are within Rehabilitation Counseling and Services and Therapeutic Program Planning.

Angela Zippin

Angela Zippin has worked as a Program Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati Testing Services office since September 2011. Before that, she worked in Testing Services for two years as a graduate student worker. Angela’s responsibilities largely include coordination of distance learning and accommodated UC classroom tests. In the fall of 2012, she worked with the National College Testing Association to achieve test center certification for her department. Angela currently serves as the Membership Chair for the Ohio College Testing Association and was the recipient of the 2013 OCTA President Award. She is a current member of the National College Testing Association and NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and serves on the University of Cincinnati Student Affairs Diversity Steering Committee. 

Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards currently serves as the Assistant Vice President for eLearning Technology for the University of Cincinnati providing vision and leadership for the development, support, and delivery of the university's eLearning environment.

Previously, Edwards served as Assistant Dean for Information Technology & Communications and Director of the Center for Academic Technology and Educational Resources (CATER) at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing. CATER is a diverse information technology group providing direction, support, training, and development services designed to enhance the nursing education, research and service provided by UC College of Nursing.

Edwards has nearly 25 years of experience in leading information technology initiatives in K-12 and higher education environments. Before joining UC, Edwards served as a web administrator and computer support manager for Purdue University. Edwards has held a variety of other information technology positions, including desktop support specialist, server administrator, instructional designer, distance learning support specialist, project manager, support manager and information technology director. 

Edwards was selected to join the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program as a member of the Class of 2013, a select group of education professionals worldwide who are passionately committed to the promise of educational technology to improve teaching and learning. Since 1994, the program has recognized a worldwide community of over 2,000 visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with technology in and out of the classroom.

Edwards hold a Master’s of Science in Information Systems degree from the University of Cincinnati, a Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University and Associates of Applied Science from Ivy Tech Community College.

Sarah Schroeder

Sarah Schroeder is a field service assistant professor in the Instructional Design and Technology program in the University of Cincinnati’s School of Education and an instructional designer for the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH). Prior to joining UC’s faculty, Sarah taught courses in human communication and media studies in the Department of Communication at Northern Kentucky University and served as instructional designer in Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Innovation and Technology in Education. She is an independent Quality Matters facilitator and leads the Quality Matters initiative for CECH, develops and delivers professional development around online teaching and learning for the college, and supports faculty teaching online and blended courses. Sarah also teaches educational technology courses to future educators for UC’s School of Education, and believes strongly in the use of innovative educational technology to prepare our students for the future, increase access, promote civic engagement and build lifelong learning skills. She received her BS in education from Indiana University and her MS in Communication from University of Cincinnati.

Dave Rathbun

Dave Rathbun is a veteran of both the Regular and Reserve Armies including a thirteen-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. After leaving military service, he worked as a Technology Sales Manager with Circuit City from 2007 until 2009. He then moved to T-Mobile USA as a commissioned salesperson until 2010. Dave served as senior student consultant with FTRC Services & Blackboard Support from June 2010 through October 2011 before moving to the Integrated Services Help Desk as an Information Technology Analyst. He returned to the eLearning Center in August of 2012 as an Instructional Technologist. He currently serves on the UCIT Communications Committee, Accessibility Taskforce, the Learning Management System subcommittee, the ePortfolios subcommittee, the Echo 360 subcommittee and serves as a technical consultant to the Instructional Design committee. Dave is also a Blackboard Certified Trainer.