Register Now for Access Illinois

Mar 15, 2023, 13:41 PM

Hybrid event celebrates accessibility and inclusion at the University of Illinois


The University of Illinois is gearing up for Access Illinois, a hybrid event celebrating and raising awareness about accessibility and inclusion at the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The event will be held from 9 am to 3 pm on April 6, 2023, at the Beckman Institute with the option to attend virtually. It is free and open to campus.

Access Illinois is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (OVCDEI) and the Technology Accessibility Review Committee (TARC).  It is co-sponsored by:

  • Administrative Information Technology Services (AITS)
  • The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL)
  • College of Applied Health Sciences
  • College of LAS
  • Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)
  • Gies College of Business
  • iSchool
  • Technology Services

Access Illinois will feature a keynote address by Nizam Arain, Associate Vice Chancellor for Access and Equity, along with a State of Campus Accessibility address from Keith Hays, the American with Disabilities Act IT Coordinator.

The event will also feature a variety of breakout sessions and panel discussions on accessibility and inclusion topics and a Q & A session on accessibility and inclusion with Arain and Hays.

The afternoon events include tours of campus accessibility facilities and accessibility-related innovation labs and studios. The DRES bus will provide transportation from Beckman to these on-site tour locations.

Access Illinois is the university’s rebranding of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), held worldwide on the third Thursday of each May.

 “The new name allows us to host the event on a different day than Global Accessibility Awareness Day and avoid a time that would otherwise be in close proximity to exams and graduation,” said Marc Thompson, CITL Assistant Director for Teaching & Learning Experiences and Access Illinois co-organizer.

Thompson also noted that the new name “throws greater focus on accessibility and inclusion on our campus.”

“Access Illinois 2023 is expected to double the size of attendance from last year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day event from 75 attendees to over 150 attendees,” said Leslie Sherman, Senior Data Systems Developer for College of Education and Access Illinois co-organizer. “This increase reflects the expansion of accessibility awareness on campus due to the efforts of the Office of Access and Equity, the ADA IT Coordinator, and IT Accessibility Liaisons. We are excited this year to include sessions about the cutting-edge research being done in the areas of accessibility for those with disabilities.”

See the Full Event Schedule for a complete listing of sessions, times, room locations, and session-specific Zoom links for Access Illinois.

Lunch will be provided for in-person attendees; however, spots are limited, so register now by completing the Access Illinois 2023 Registration Form.

Registration ends on March 31, 2023.