2023 Presenters

Keynote Speaker

Bree Callahan, M.Ed. (she/her/hers)

ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, University of Washington

Bree is the ADA Coordinator for the University of Washington and provides leadership, coordination, and oversight to advance the University’s strategic priorities relating to access and accessibility. Prior to this role, she directed disability services offices for fifteen years across three universities and has worked in a variety of higher education areas: admissions, academic advising, and residential life. She has over 20 years’ experience in higher education, determining accommodations and providing consultation on ADA compliance matters of digital, physical, and program access.

Bree has held leadership positions for Washington Association on Post-Secondary Education and Disability (WAPED), and the Association on Higher Education and Disability’s (AHEAD); and served on two WA State Legislative Task Force’s charged with examining barriers in place for students with disabilities transitioning and transferring to Washington State higher education institutions. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on a variety of topics relating to disability and access, transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education, and systemic change toward more inclusive campuses.

Presenters and Panelists

Annastashia Blesi

Assistant Director, The Miller Center for Student Disability Services, Miami University

Annastashia Blesi (she/her) currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Miller Center for Student Disability Services where she works closely with students and the broader Miami community to ensure disability access within the university experience. Annastashia brings her lived experience as a disabled woman both into this space and in the classroom where she teaches DST 272: Introduction to Disability Studies. She holds a master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University and is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership doctoral program at Miami where she is studying the intersection of resilience and disability identity development in college students.

Laura Fathauer

Senior Web Accessibility Specialist, Miami University

Laura Fathauer is the Senior Web Accessibility Specialist at the AccessMU Center. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from Antioch College and an M.S. in Mathematics from Wright State University. She has previously presented on accessibility in Higher Education and on captioning at the CSUN Assistive Technology conference, held annually in California.

Cyndi Govreau

Instructional Design & Technology Specialist, Miami University

Cyndi Govreau has worked in higher education for more than 20 years. Prior to coming to Miami University, she was the project manager for online learning at a for-profit institution with 28 campuses across the country. She earned her master's degree in Teaching and Learning fully online.

As an instructional designer, Cyndi can help faculty transform courses into engaged learning and creative learning opportunities. Working with faculty allows her to share her passion for engaged learning and to positively impact each and every student. We all know that no single approach works for every student, every course, and especially not for every faculty. Cyndi works to find what works for you in your course and ensures that it aligns with the learning objectives.

Polly L. Heinkel

Web Communications Specialist, Miami University

Polly L. Heinkel earned her BA in English Literature (‘07) and her MA in Theater Studies (‘12) from Miami University. During her time as a theater professional living in London, she honed her skills in web design and content management. She rejoined the Miami University community in 2017 as the administrative assistant at the Humanities Center and began her position as the web communications specialist in University Communications and Marketing supporting the College of Arts and Science in May 2022.

Courtney O'Banion

Web Communications Specialist, Miami University

Courtney O'Banion currently serves as the director of digital marketing at Miami University. O'Banion is a digital storyteller and results-driven digital marketing leader with 10+ years experience transforming and centralizing digital marketing teams and strategies.
Prior to her time in higher ed, O'Banion led and served on digital teams at Publix Super Markets Inc., a FORTUNE 100 company; Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the nation’s 20 largest health care systems; and Give Kids The World, a $100M international nonprofit that provides cost-free Orlando vacations to critically ill children and their families.

O'Banion received her bachelor's in public relations and communications from Ohio Northern University, and MBA from Miami University.

Sean Poley

Director of Accessible Technology, Miami University

Sean is the Director of Accessibility Technology in IT Services. He coordinates Miami’s accessible technology efforts and works closely with constituents across the University to ensure that accessible technology is seamlessly integrated to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff. Sean has over 30 years of information technology experience in the military, nonprofit, and higher education sectors. He holds a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State and a master's degree in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work (CUNY). He is a veteran of both the U.S. Air Force and the PA Air National Guard.

Eliza Quinn-Alger

Accessible Technology Coordinator, Miami University

ElizaMarie Quinn-Alger is the Accessible Technology Coordinator at AccessMU Center. She holds a Master of Science degree in Disability Services in Higher Education from the City University of New York, and a BS from the University of Connecticut in Disability Studies, plus a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. ElizaMarie is passionate about supporting students with disabilities, helping them learn and adapt to the various Assistive Technology tools readily available. In her role as Accessibility Coordinator, she has a wide variety of responsibilities working with students, staff, and faculty, including coordinating caption support for live events and recorded learning.

Jessica Rea

Director of Web Marketing, Miami University

Jessica Rea is the Director of Web Marketing in the office of University Communications and Marketing, where she leads a team of eight who help support and maintain Miami's marketing web presence. Her team works closely with the AccessMU Center to monitor and maintain template and content accessibility across our web presence. She has worked in corporate website consulting, building front-end user interfaces for clients, and in higher education, where she has worked at Miami for the past 15 years. She went to school at Miami University for graphic design, where she originally fell in love with website creation.

John Rizzo

Director of Creative Services, Miami University

John Rizzo is the Director of Creative Services, Brand, and Licensing and Trademarks at Miami University. He helps to solve problems and create memorable experiences through the intersection of creativity, innovation, and technology. Formerly an Adjunct Professor, Creative Strategist, Consultant, Creative Talent Director, Art Director, and Designer — he has led projects with small clients to Fortune 10 businesses. With a background in print, UX/UI, and branding; he brings a versatile amount of knowledge to each project.

Greg Williams

Independence Science | Tactile Engineering

Dr. Greg Williams received his Ph.D. in computational chemistry from the University of Cambridge and holds B.S. degrees in chemistry and mathematics from Indiana University. He is a former high school teacher with teaching experience in and outside of the sciences. Greg understands the accessibility issues in STEM courses from his experiences as a blind student pursuing a STEM career. He was a post-doctoral fellow with the Institute for Accessible Science at Purdue University. Since 2012 he has worked for Independence Science and also works for Tactile Engineering. Greg works with publishers to improve the accessibility of their online STEM curriculum, and consults with high schools and universities on STEM accessibility. He has been part of projects to develop accessible lab technology, including the Talking LabQuest and the Cadence Braille Tablet.

Vijayshree Vethantham

Senior Vice-President, Growth & Strategy, Continual Engine US LLC

Vijayshree has nearly two decades of experience leading multidisciplinary teams, and managing key client partnerships in higher education and accessibility as part of the founding team of two education-based start-ups – ansrsource and Continual Engine. Her experience includes building impactful partnerships with large publishers and institutions, understanding their content and learning goals, and guiding solutions to enable scalable, and accessible learning experiences. Vijayshree leverages her deep knowledge of start-ups, higher education, and custom content development along with the potential of AI and technology in education to create thriving engagements with educational providers, learning organizations and other partners. Over the last few years, Vijayshree has dedicated her time to exploring how robust and pragmatic educational technology, designed with the intention of solving a problem, can enable transformation, inclusion, diversity, accessibility, and affordability for everyone.

Students with Disabilities Advisory Council (SDAC)

The Students with Disabilities Advisory Council (SDAC) is a group of students who identify as having a disability and are passionate about bettering the experience of people with disabilities at Miami. Their goal is to serve as the leading voice for Miami students with disabilities. SDAC aims to increase awareness of and support for, the disability community on Miami’s campus. They plan and implement events and programs for current and prospective Miami students, faculty members and the disability community at large.

Miami University is committed to providing an inclusive and equitable event experience. If you need disability related accommodations (e.g. interpreter, captioning, materials in an accessible format) to facilitate full participation please contact the Miller Center by phone at 513-529-1541, Ohio Relay 711 or SDS@MiamiOH.edu at least three business days prior to the event.