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ASU to spotlight the importance of digital accessibility with daylong conference

Accessibility Awareness Day to teach best practices of inclusive digital design

Graphic illustration of various digital accessibility icons.

ASU illustration

October 10, 2023

On Oct. 19, Arizona State University faculty, staff, students and guests will convene for ASU Accessibility Awareness Day, an event championing the principles of accessible digital design. 

At this free, hybrid-format conference, disability advocates and design experts will present best practices for creating online courses, websites and apps that people of all abilities can use. The event previously occurred after the end of spring classes, to coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, but was moved up earlier this year to make attendance easier for a wider group of people.

ASU's Universal Design & Access Technology Working Group (UDAT), a team comprising professionals from across the university, designed the conference to teach attendees about making ASU’s digital space easier to use for everyone. At the cornerstone of their efforts is the ASU Charter, which measures the university not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed.

The goal is to increase the use of inclusive practices in courses, social media, computer and website programming, and interactions with others.  

Krista Puruhito, an associate teaching professor in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, has been a member of UDAT for several years and helped plan this year’s conference. With a background in family and human development and inclusive science, Puruhito will present on universal course design, a topic dear to her heart. 

“Professionally, it’s important to me as an educational psychologist to decrease learning barriers so that everyone can be successful in their academic endeavors. And personally, these efforts are important as the parent of two children with disabilities that may one day attend ASU," she said. "I hope that many of these barriers are nonexistent by the time they, and many others, become Sun Devils.”

Other presentation topics from experts across the university include accessible learning through sound design, accessible testing, AI integration, inclusive social media and accessible learning management tools. 

Puruhito hopes her presentation and the lessons from others will help attendees become more aware of the distinct and unique needs of all members of the ASU community. 

“Thanks to the efforts of hardworking individuals across ASU, we can make the university more inclusive and accessible, because we deeply value the ASU Charter,” Puruhito said.

Event sponsors include Enterprise Technology, the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, the Office of Inclusive Excellence, the ASU Library, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of the University Provost.

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