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Accessible Technology in Higher Education

Photo of
Hosted By
Eliza G. and 2 others


Millions of individuals interface daily with colleges and universities throughout the Northwest region, as students, employees, and members of the public. Thousands of these individuals have disabilities that impact the tools and methods they use for accessing websites and information technologies.

How are colleges and universities in Portland and throughout the Northwest region handling this challenge? What strategies are they employing internally and through procurement to ensure their websites and information technologies are accessible? What can the rest of us learn from higher education's examples?

At the October meetup, we will explore these questions including strategies for getting buy-in. Terrill Thompson from University of Washington, Kaela Parks from Portland Community College, Emiluz Lopez from CollegeNET and Gabriel Merrell from University of Oregon will share their strategies, stories and experiences in an informal conversation about IT accessibility in higher ed.

CrowdCompass is our event host. They are graciously providing refreshments for this event! Review their accessibility information ( and let us know if you have questions.


• 6:00 gather/networking

• 6:30 panelists share their experience

• 8:00 time for Q&A and conversation

• 8-8:30 closing/networking

Bios of our panelists:

Terrill Thompson - University of Washington

As a technology accessibility specialist with the UW, Terrill promotes information technology accessibility with trainings, developing resources, consultation, support, and research. He does this for the UW community as part of UW-IT Accessible Technology Services (, and does it for the rest of the world through The DO-IT Center (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, & Technology) (, where he works on projects such as AccessComputing ( Terrill has presented at many conferences and consulted widely with organizations in education, government, and private industry on IT accessibility issues.

Kaela Parks - Portland Community College

Kaela Parks is Director of Disability Services at Portland Community College. She has taught courses in Universal Design and Accessible Multimedia. She is a former chair of the NASPA Disability Knowledge Community, former co-chair of the AHEAD standing committee on technology, past president of ORAHEAD, and co-editor for the publication titled Beyond the ADA: Inclusive policy and practice for higher education.

Emiluz Lopez - CollegeNET

Emi Lopez joined CollegeNET as a Web Developer last year. In her role as Accessibility Champion, she influences and promotes the Accessibility Culture within CollegeNET.

Gabriel Merrell - Oregon State University

Gabriel Merrell is Director of Access and Affirmative Action, and Deputy ADA Coordinator, in the Equal Opportunity and Access office at Oregon State University. Gabe educates the OSU community on the inclusion of people with disabilities, and working on institutional culture change initiatives. Gabe is the current president of ORAHEAD, and co-chairs the AHEAD ADA Coordinator Special Interest Group.

308 SW 2nd Ave · Portland, OR