As national-level conversations continue to take shape around supporting accessibility and sharing resources, community colleges must be included: the issues are too critical to us and to the populations we serve to not have our voices heard.
I am passionate about teaching and learning and have embraced the concepts of Universal Design for Learning, particularly when considering online course content. Currently I am an eLearning Instructional Designer and the Accessible IT Coordinator at Shoreline Community College in Western Washigton.
I have come to my current roles via a circuitous route. I have a B.S. in Hotel Administration and worked in the hospitality industry for several years but noted the need for greater nutrition considerations in food service. When I went back to school for my Master of Public Health and Nutrition degree from the University of Washington, I also became a Registered Dietitian. In 2010, this led to me a teaching position at Shoreline Community College, teaching Nutrition online. Since this was a new area for me, I sought out as many learning opportunities as I could find to improve both my general teaching pedagogy but also my knowledge about promising practices in online teaching strategies including the model of Quality Matters. In 2013 I was hired as the Faculty-in-Residence at Shoreline and in 2014 I was hired by eLearning Services as an Instructional Designer. I still teach Nutrition 101 online at least once per year.
As the need for creating and remediating online course content became clearer, I started a Faculty Learning Community for Accessible Course Content on our campus. This led to deeper discussions and, coupled with new state policies, the need for a Shoreline Accessible IT Coordinator. I was fortunate to be named the coordinator on our campus in 2016 and have convened a cross-campus workgroup to address Accessible IT in all areas of our operations. I am also participating at the state level, as a member of the Committee for Accessible Technology Oversight.