Turn and face the strange

-“Changes,” David Bowie

It’s been a minute since I shared an update in this space.

I am now pursuing a PhD in Instructional Leadership with an Instructional Technology concentration at The University of Alabama. I hope to complete by degree in 2024.

In July 2021, I started in a new role in the University of Alabama’s Center for Instructional Technology, where I had been serving as a Technology Accessibility Specialist. As the Center’s Assistant Director – Education & Outreach, I planned and directed instructional technology education and outreach activities and served as the Director’s backup in all areas of CIT operations and administration while continuing to serve as the primary accessibility training resource for the campus.

I joined the graduate faculty of the University as an adjunct instructor in Spring 2022, teaching in the School of Library and Information Science. I teach LS 513: Professional Paths, a graduate course in the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ School of Library and Information Studies. This course introduces students to the variety of professional paths that an MLIS-holder might pursue and encourages students to explore diverse areas of library and information practice that may interest them. In Spring 2022, I taught synchronously online using Blackboard Learn and Zoom, as well as Panopto, Flipgrid, and other instructional technologies offered by the university. This semester, I am teaching on campus and participating in a pilot of Blackboard Learn’s Ultra Course View.

Last month, I accepted a position with Knowbility as a Senior Digital Accessibility Specialist. Knowbility is an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to create an inclusive digital world for people with disabilities. As a member of the organization’s Accessibility Services Team, I conduct accessibility audits, guide clients on how to avoid, recognize, and fix accessibility issues, and contribute to Knowbility’s programs that support our mission of improving global web and digital accessibility.

The decision to leave my full-time staff position at UA and was a difficult one. I have been affiliated with the university since 2008, first as a graduate student, then as an employee, working in the University Libraries, HR Learning and Development, and the Office of Information Technology. I love helping people teach with technology, and, as anyone who’s ever had the fortune to deal with my CIT/OIT colleagues will tell you, I was able to do it with a wonderful team. I needed something different, though, and, having followed Knowbility’s work for many years, I decided to “turn and face the strange” with a return to the non-profit space, which is where I began my career. I am thrilled and proud to be a new member of an award-winning accessible information technology organization whose mission speaks to my heart. I am grateful that my adjunct work will enable me to remain connected with the UA community and friends and colleagues supporting teaching and learning while working to make UA a more accessibile, diverse, equitable, and inclusive place.

Thanks for reading! For more regular updates, you can follow me on Twitter.