Utah State University’s Cyndi Rowland was celebrated in November for her work in advancing educational opportunities for people with disabilities.
“If not for [Rowland’s] tireless efforts and advocacy, the online opportunities for individuals with disabilities would not be where they are today,” said Russ Poulin, executive director of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, at an award ceremony during WCET’s annual meeting. WCET is a division of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).
Poulin then presented Rowland with the Richard Jonsen award, a high honor given by WCET to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the e-learning community.
Rowland directs WebAIM, which provides training, consulting, evaluation and certification to organizations and companies on web accessibility. She also directs the National Center on Disability and Access to Education, which addresses issues in technology and disability in education. Both WebAIM and NCDAE are part of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University.
Education provides opportunity, Rowland said in a later interview. And when education is not accessible to people with disabilities, the opportunities are lost.
“I am so pleased that the professional communities that support digital instruction have really looked at accessibility in the way that they are.
“I am personally honored to get the award,” Rowland said, “But really this is the honoring the work our groups do.”
WCET is a leader in the practice, policy and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. Its members include colleges, universities, higher education organizations, and companies from every state in the United States. Its annual meeting was held in Denver, Colorado.