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Web Accessibility Update: Ruling Reversals, Insights, and Tips

Thursday, February 14, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

Web Accessibility Update

Presented by Elizabeth Simister, Product Accessibility Manager, Blackboard; and Matt Kerste, Manager, Community Engagement Client Support, Blackboard
Sponsored by Blackboard

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At the end of 2018, the U.S. Department of Education reversed a ruling, leading to the reopening of hundreds of web accessibility complaints submitted to the Office of Civil Rights.

Don’t panic! This recorded edWebinar will help you better understand the regulations and proactively work towards meeting web accessibility standards. Hear from two digital accessibility experts and leave the presentation with a better understanding of:

  • Accessibility expectations and laws followed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
  • The common violations the OCR focuses on when reviewing complaints
  • What areas of your district or school website are most at risk
  • Tips and tricks for proactively maintaining an accessible website

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to K-12 teachers, superintendents, IT directors, and communications and public relations leaders.

Elizabeth SimisterAbout the Presenters

Elizabeth Simister is the product accessibility manager at Blackboard. She is responsible for working across multiple Blackboard products to ensure they can be easily used by persons with disabilities. Her role includes educating Blackboard team members on the United States and international standards, assisting customers with their accessibility needs, and interacting with vendors to ensure products are accessible. Prior to joining Blackboard, Elizabeth worked for Level Access, verifying the accessibility of Blackboard’s products. During this time, she also worked with multiple types of educational institutions to understand their accessibility needs and concerns to find the right solutions. Elizabeth’s overall career in accessibility services spans nearly 15 years in which time she has set up accessibility programs in federal government agencies and was part of a team implementing an accessibility program at a major university. She holds an MS in information management from Syracuse University.


Matt KersteAfter attending Northwestern University, Matt Kerste found his way (somewhat by chance) into the field of client/software support with the McGraw-Hill companies, before joining Edline in 2006 as a technical support rep. With Edline, he specialized in assisting clients with issues around student information system data, and over time became a support manager. Blackboard’s acquisition of Edline has brought Matt to his current position, as manager of client support for Blackboard’s Web Community Manager product.

Over the past two years, he’s assisted school districts with issues around the accessibility of their public-facing websites. Some of these districts are simply seeking to proactively address accessibility concerns. Other are seeking advice and guidance as they respond to complaints opened by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.


Join the Family Engagement & Community Outreach in K-12 community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST
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