Global Accessibility Awareness Day @ Illinois

Come celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 23rd with a day of hands-on workshops, tours, exhibits and demonstrations of accessible technologies.  This is a time to make connections with other people interested in accessibility in the digital age and learn about resources for making our world more accessible to people with disabilities.

Date and Times

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

9:00 am-11:00 am: Morning workshops

11:00 am-1: 30 pm: DRES Open House, Exhibits and Assistive Technology Demonstrations

1:30 pm-3:30 pm: Afternoon workshops

Free parking and shuttle to venues available

Who Should Come

Participation is open to the university community and general public.  There is no cost for participation.  Please use the registration form to let us know if you plan to come for some or all of the day's activities.

  • Administrators
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Instructional designers
  • Technology professionals
  • Disability professionals
  • Health professionals

Free Registration

Registration is closed yet you may still attend the event.

NOTE: A boxed lunch is available only to registered attendees and registration ends on Monday, May 21st. Please register by May 17th to guarantee a lunch.


Shuttle bus service between locations provided by DRES Transportation Services.

Rehabilitation Education Center

1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Use Oak Street doors to enter the building

Huff Hall and Khan Annex

1206 S 4th Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Use North doors off Gregory to enter the building

Nugent Hall

207 E Gregory Dr
Champaign, IL 61820

Use Arbor and Gregory Drive entrance


Time Khan Annex 1001
(Huff Hall)
Khan Annex 1002
(Huff Hall)
Huff Hall 114 Rehabilitation Education Center Nugent Hall 1101A

iOS Universal Access Features

Bring your own iOS devices, there will also be iOS devices available to try

Microsoft Word Accessibility

Participants bring own laptops


Video Captioning Techniques  and Tools


macOS High Sierra (OSX) Universal Access Features

Bring your own MacBook

Microsoft Powerpoint Accessibility

Participants bring their own laptops

Accessible E-Book Resources (ePub, Daisy, PDF, Word)

  A11yFirst Project


Self-guided Tours of DRES history and services

Assistive Technology  Demonstrations

Exhibits from service agencies

Guided Tour of Beckwith Program

Creating Accessible ePub Content with Pages and iBooks Author

Bring your own MacBook with Pages and iBooks installed


Web Accessibility 101

Bring your own laptop


Apple Tools for Navigating School

Bring your iOS device


Best in Class Apps for Accessibility

Bring your own iOS devices, there will also be iOS devices available to try



Audio Description



9:00am - 9:45am Workshops

iOS Universal Access Features

Keith Mountin, Apple Systems Engineer

Room 1001 Khan Annex (Huff Hall)

Powerful assistive features are built into iPads and iPhones to complement your vision, hearing, motor skills, learning, and literacy. So you can create, learn, work, play, and do pretty much anything you want to do, wherever you want to do it, more easily than ever.  Come learn about the built-in accessibility features of iOS devices. Bring your own iPad or iPhone, if you don't have your own iOS device there will be some for you to try.

Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents

Marc Thompson and Tania Heap, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL)

Room 1002 Khan Annex (Huff Hall)

Microsoft Word has many features built-in that help people with different abilities to read and author documents. Word also offers the Accessibility Checker that locates elements that might cause problems for people with disabilities.  Bring your laptop and follow along as you learn the basics of making Word documents accessible.

Video Captioning Techniques and Tools

Ann Fredricksen, DRES

Room 114 Huff Hall

Video is becoming more important part of our daily communication and a part of education and training programs.  People with hearing disabilities and English as a second language need captioning to have equal access to the information in the video.  Ann Fredricksen will go over some of the best practices for captioning and introduce visitors to some software that is available to meet their financial needs.

10:00am-10:45am Workshops

macOS High Sierra Universal Access Features

Keith Mountin, Apple Systems Engineer

Room 1001 Khan Annex (Huff Hall)

macOS High Sierra allows you to control your computer in different ways that are especially helpful if you have difficulty with your vision, hearing, and/or mobility. These settings are found in the Universal Access pane in the System Preferences. This workshop introduces you to the Universal Access options and how they can be used to improve your computer-using experience.   Bring your own Mac laptop and follow along Keith's demonstrations.

Creating Accessible Powerpoint Presentations

Marc Thompson and Tania Heap, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL)

Room 1002 Khan Annex (Huff Hall)

Microsoft PowerPoint presentations tend to be highly visual, and people who are blind or have low vision can understand them more easily if you create your slides with accessibility in mind. Bring your laptop and follow along as you learn the basics of creating an accessible Powerpoint presentation.

Accessible E-Book Resources

Angie Anderson, DRES

Room 114 Huff Hall

Electronic books are a powerful means to make books accessible to people with disabilities.   Come learn about the accessibility of various e-book formats (e.g. PDF, E-Pub, Daisy, Word) and the tools people with disabilities can use to access them.  The presentation will provide information on how to access e-book resources like Bookshare, Learning Ally, NIMAC and the Library of Congress.

A11yFirst for CKEditor

Nicholas Hoyt and Jaeun Ku (Jemma)

1101A Nugent Hall

The A11yFirst project adds accessibility features to integrated WYSIWYG editors used by content authors within content management systems (CMS).   This workshop is for CMS administrators to learn more about the A11yFirst enhancements to CKEditor and explore how it may be deployed within WordPress, Drupal and other CMSs that you administer.   The workshop will provide a demonstration of its current features and capabilities, and collect information from participants on the concerns and issues they would have in deploying the A11yFirst editor in their CMS.


11:00 am-1:30 pm DRES Open House and Assistive Technology Demonstrations 


South Hall

  • Beckwith program information
  • Mental Health Services

North Hall

  • DRES Timeline and History

Room 77 (lower Level)

  • Wheelchair Athletics Program and Training Facility, Athletic Staff

Room 85 (lower Level)

  • Captioning and Audio Description Services, Ann Fredricksen

Room 64 (lower level)

  • Text Conversion Services, Angie Anderson

Room 107

  • OraCam, PACE Center for Independent Living, TBA
  • Ease of Access features of Microsoft Windows, Tim Offenstein, Technology Services

Room 121 West 

  • JAWS Screen reader, Arland Stratton
  • Screen magnification, Michael Morgan
  • Screen magnification and JAWS, Teryl Brewster
  • Sonocent for Note Taking, Rachel Graddy

Room 121 East

  • Virtual Reality Therapy, Jonathan Thomas-Stagg  (after 12:15 pm)

Room 136

  • Kurzweil 3000, Tina Rolfe
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking, Tina Rolfe

Room 178

  • Wellness Gym, Jeannette Elliott

Nugent Hall

  • Beckwith Program Tours, Susann Sears

1:30 pm-2:15 pm Workshops

Creating Accessible ePub Content with Pages and iBooks - Khan Annex Rm 1002

Keith Mountin, Apple Systems Engineer

Room 1001 Khan Annex (Huff Hall)

The EPUB format is an open digital book (eBook) standard from the International Digital Publishing Forum. With Pages, you can export your documents in EPUB format so they can be read using iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or with other third-party EPUB readers. This workshop will guide you through making sure the ePub documents created are accessible to people with disabilities using Apple Pages and iBook.  You should have Pages and iBook Apps installed on your Apple computer to participate in this workshop.

Web Accessibility 101

Lori Lane, DRES

Room 114 Huff Hall

For people unfamiliar with web accessibility it can be hard to tell if a website is accessible or not.  This workshop will introduce participants to the first practical steps in determining the accessibility features of a website and how these features benefit people with disabilities.  During the hands-on activity, participants will download simple testing tools and learn how to test a website on their devices.  Bring your own laptop and learn the basics of accessibility testing.

Apple Tools for Navigating School

Kendra Nalubega, Campus Apple Representative

Room 1101A Nugent Hall

Kendra will be talking about how to navigate school with Apple technology and highlighting some of features she uses. iCal helps students to set automatic reminders of their daily activities and also allows them to plan collaboratively with their peers or professors. It’s  a great organization too overall. Siri functions as a personal assistant and allows students to set reminders, text or call friends and family, look up things such as directions, send and receive money via Apple Pay Cash, etc. Speak Selection allows students to select desired text and have it read to them as they follow along. Safari Reader is the best feature to use when navigating the web—It allows students filter unwanted information such as ads, buttons, navigation bars, etc and focuses only on the wanted information. It is compatible with other features such as Speak Selection and VoiceOver. These are just some of many useful Apple technology built-in features that have eased my academic experience as a student. 

2:30 pm-3:15 pm Workshops

Best in Class Apps for Accessibility - Khan Annex Rm 1002

Keith Mountin, Apple Systems Engineer

Room 1001 Khan Annex (Huff Hall)

A review of Apps that can help people with disabilities available from the Apple App Store.  Bring your own iPad or iPhone, if you don't have your own iOS device there will be some for you to try.

Audio Description

Ann Fredricksen, DRES

Room 114 Huff Hall

For most videos to be accessible to people with visual disabilities they need to be able to understand the visual information presented in the video.   This workshop will introduce best practices and guidelines for creating audio descriptions to help people with visual disabilities understand the visual information in the video.  The workshop will provide information on techniques and tools that are used in the production of audio descriptions.


  • Free Parking available in the NW Lot of the State Farm Center (corner of Kirby and 4th, where the SFC event sign is located) and shuttle provided.
  • Accessible parking is available in the DRES parking lot (entrance on Oak Street).
  • NOTE: Parking in Huff Hall parking lot is by permit only, violators will be ticketed.

Shuttle Bus

Shuttle Schedule for the parking lot:

  • 8:45/8:50 am - bus leaves lot to drop off at Huff Hall. Will return and make 1 more trip (approx 9 am)
  • 11:00 am - bus leaves lot to drop off at DRES
  • 1:15 pm - bus leaves lot, drop off at DRES
  • 2:10 pm - bus(es) return to lot from Huff, Nugent, DRES

A shuttle bus will also be available between DRES, Huff Hall, and Nugent Hall between sessions.

For questions about parking or the event, contact Christy Blew at