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Breakout 2C

Heather Merchant, wearing glasses and smiling

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm Central Time

Accessibility Challenges and Benefits of the Hybrid Course

Presented by:


Heather Merchant, Senior Educational Accessibility Specialist, Wichita State University

Session Description:


Hybrid, or blended learning offers many benefits to students, the biggest of which is flexibility; however, the online and in-person components both have very different accessibility challenges. The physical classroom brings with it many environmental and delivery issues, while the online classroom must have materials and tools that are digitally accessible and be designed with accessibility in mind. It may seem as though a hybrid class would require greater instructor effort to ensure an accessible experience for all students in both environments; however, the benefits of one can often be utilized to mitigate the accessibility challenges of the other.

Speaker Bio:


Heather M. Merchant, M.S., M.B.A. is the Senior Educational Accessibility Specialist for Wichita State University, a former instructional designer, instructor for Wichita State’s Lifelong Learning program, a QM Peer Reviewer, and a contributing author for KSARN (Kansas Accessibility Resource Network), an online accessibility initiative that offers free training on a variety of accessibility topics. As the Senior Educational Accessibility Specialist, Heather audits online courses, hybrid courses, and all EIT at Wichita State for accessibility. She also provides accessibility training and has assisted with braille and tactile graphic production.

Presentation Information & Materials

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