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306 Separate Is (Still) Unequal: Why Accessibility Is Good Business

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM ET
Tuesday, December 5

You may not think your organization needs an accessibility strategy. Think again. One in four Americans meets the federal definition of disability. According to a study by the Center of Talent Innovation, only 39% of the professional workforce who meet this definition have disclosed it to their manager. Even fewer (29%) disclose to HR and their teams, for fear of marginalization and discrimination.

Despite talking about this for years, the actual number of learning products that are truly accessible remains pitifully low. As learning leaders, we need to make a better business case for accessible solutions for the entirety of learners.

This session will explore the current state of accessibility in today’s learning products, with a caution around the potential for emerging technology (AR, VR, AI) to further widen the gap if we are not mindful. I will make a business case for learning leaders to set up programs, select vendors, and create learning solutions that do not perpetuate inequalities. I will share a learning strategy that uses this business case to drive outcomes and engagement, as well as boosting your company brand for hiring and retention. And I will provide a few simple, cost-saving questions you can ask when evaluating your current strategy.

Accessibility is not only the right thing to do—it also is good business.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to cut through the noise and identify truly accessible learning products
  • How to build a learning strategy that is accessible to the entirety of the organization or potential customers—not separate and (un)equal
  • Why accessibility is an essential part of a talent attraction, hiring, and retention strategy and/or a customer strategy
  • Key considerations and questions to ask when assessing for accessibility

Mary Cropp

Senior Director, Employee Effectiveness


Proudly hailing from the great state of New Jersey, Mary Cropp has made her home in Seattle for the past 20-plus years. Mary has spent her career in adult learning, moving from academia to the corporate training world, and has been fortunate to work on a global level, training people around the world on such diverse topics as organ donation, data literacy, leadership development, how to sew a new cornea onto an eye(!), or how to build a Bluetooth beacon. Mary is a PROSCII-certified change practitioner as well as an ICF-certified coach.