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Web Accessibility in Higher Ed: Influence, Explore, and Learn

Melba Acevedo
Melba Acevedo is Director of Instructional Technology and Online Learning at Northern Essex Community College (NECC). In this position, she is responsible for providing leadership and guidance to NECC in the design and delivery of high quality online learning initiatives and implementing strategies for the integration of academic technology for the College. She is a certified Quality Matters Facilitator, Reviewer and Institutional Representative. As co-chair of the Accessible Media committee, she works in partnership with stakeholders across NECC bring the institution toward compliance of accessibility laws and remove usability barriers a student might encounter throughout College’s online footprint. Presently, Melba serves as Chair of NECC Distance Education Committee, is an institutional representative at the Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) Consortium, NERCOMP, WCET, and Instructional Technology Council. She participated in the Massachusetts Community College Leadership Academy, Chair Academy Leadership Program, Social Justice Mediator Institute, and Mill Cities Leadership Institute. She earned a Master’s degree in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

Rob Eveleigh
As an access technologist at the Five College Consortium, UMass Amherst, and Harvard University, Rob has provided expertise, technical direction, assessment, and implementation support to ensure technical compliance and functional accessibility of electronic and information technologies at a variety of private and public campuses. He has served as chair/lead of multiple accessibility committees and teams at the Five College Consortium and UMass Amherst, and as project manager of the UMass System IT Accessibility Program. In these roles, he has provided leadership to ensure that campuses build capacity to implement sustainable IT accessibility goals and strategies that address the accessibility of existing and emerging technologies to persons with disabilities while minimizing the compliance risk associated with the accelerated and dynamic IT accessibility case law landscape.

Ellen Freeman
Ellen is the Teaching and Learning Applications Coordinator at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She has worked in Academic ITS at Colby College for seven years.

Her current and previous functions include teaching technology-related workshops to faculty, students, and staff at Colby College, coordinating communities of practice for Academic ITS, and providing support and training for multiple educational technologies on campus.

Previously, Ellen served as a board member for four years for Alpha One, a Maine nonprofit company, and Center for Independent Living. She has an interest in learning about and supporting accessibility in a higher education setting.

Ellen holds a M.Ed. degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Maine. She lives in Midcoast Maine with her family.

Michael Wayne Harris
Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Yale University (YC, ‘09) and a Master of Science in information from the University of Michigan School of Information, where he studied library and information science and human-computer interaction. Michael cares about making organized, streamlined websites whose contents are easily findable. Michael is also committed to making Drupal websites easy to use for both end users website owners, as well as making them accessible to users regardless of physical or mental ability.

Lance Hidy
Lance Hidy is the new Accessible Media Specialist at Northern Essex Community College. He has also been a half-time art professor for 18 years, teaching photography, illustration, and typography. As a commercial designer, he has created U.S. postage stamps, typefaces for Adobe, and books for Ansel Adams. Universal Course Design attracted him as a logical extension of his longtime pursuit of clarity in visual communication.

Bruce A. Howell
Bruce Howell joined the staff at The Carroll Center for the Blind in July of 2012. He is a graduate of Colgate University and previously enjoyed a long career in Retail Banking prior to coming to The Carroll Center. In his current role, Bruce has primary responsibility for business development and project management. He works with clients to help them to identify and articulate their digital accessibility challenges and assigns Carroll Center resources to best meet those client needs. Bruce serves as the primary contact with clients throughout these evaluation or testing projects. He facilitates interaction between The Carroll Center team and the client. He is a proficient user of some of the Assistive Technologies which the Accessibility Services team uses to conduct testing and evaluation of websites
and other digital content.

David Lewis
David Lewis has worked in the high tech industry for 20 years, the last 12 at of which have been at  Boston College in the Web Technology Group.He is the Accessibility Manager in that group and leads the accessibility training and BC web site remediation effort there. He holds a BA from Bates College and a MFA from Brandeis University.

Susan Martin
Susan Martin is the Director of the Learning Accommodation Center at Northern Essex Community College.  Susan’s experience over the last 20 years has been in developing and refining programming and accommodations to provide equal access to learners with varying disabilities.  Susan has helped organize and lead a Universal Design and Accessible Media initiative with her colleagues in an effort to help minimize the need for accommodations while increasing educational access to all students.

Lisa Sawin
As Director of User Experience & Digital Strategy at Yale Information Technology Services, Lisa leads a team of professionals supporting the usability and accessibility of Yale’s website and web application portfolio through services ranging from user research to visual design to accessibility remediation. Lisa has been at Yale for 3 ½ years, with 14 years of experience in software development and IT leadership. Prior to Yale, she served as the principal Solutions Architect at iFactory. At iFactory, Lisa worked at the other side of the table from many higher-ed clients, acting as the technical voice of the project from the initial client meetings through planning, construction and delivery of the final website. Lisa’s began her career as a coder in a wide variety of environments, giving her a unique perspective on leading the UX & Digital Strategy team. Having worked with as diverse a group of tools as Ruby on Rails, Drupal, REALbasic and jQuery, Lisa has learned to identify which needs a technology can fill and how best to match the solution to the problem. Prior to her career in IT, Lisa studied theoretical mathematics and furniture making, and supported families through childbirth as a labor and delivery doula.

Katherine Wahl
Katherine works as an internal usability/accessibility consultant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she has worked for the last ten years on a range of projects from small Web sites to enterprise wide applications. Her recent work focuses on usability and accessibility research and evaluation using a variety of methods. Katherine is also a lecturer at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS), where she has taught for the past seven years. She teaches graduate courses in information architecture, Web accessibility, and user research. Katherine has more than twenty years of experience in project management, communications, and Web site development across of range of industries including health care and energy efficiency. She holds a graduate certificate in user experience from Bentley University, a master’s degree in policy science from UMBC, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Villanova University.



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