Global Accessibility Awareness Day


Thursday, May 19, 2022
Library Loft AAC 340


Join us either in-person or on Zoom for our upcoming Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) event at DU. As GAAD states, “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.” Come learn and talk together as we hear from a panel of DU community members about their stories and experiences. Learn more about how you can ensure accessibility is a core part of our community and about actions you can take today.

Free Registration


For our in-person attendees, we will have delicious empanadas from Maria’s Empanadas, a local Denver restaurant that serves a variety of meat and vegetarian empanadas.
empandadas food


  • 5:00 - 5:30pm: Welcome & Tech Tips
  • 5:30 - 6:30pm: Panel Speakers
  • 6:30 - 7:00pm: Tech Tips & Mingle

What is Digital Accessibility?

Every user deserves a first-rate digital experience on the web. Someone with a disability must be able to experience web-based services, content and other digital products with the same successful outcome as those without disabilities. This awareness and commitment to inclusion is the goal of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a global event that shines a light on digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Panel Speakers

Chyna Tillman

Chyna Tillman 

Phonetic pronunciation:  Chai-nuh Till-man 

Title:  Senior Undergraduate Student, University of Denver 


  • About Chyna

    Chyna Sweigart (my preferred name, I am planning a name change) is a nonbinary individual pronouns Fae/Faer. Fae is a psychology major with minors in Criminology and English who will graduate at the end of this quarter. Fae works as a Thrive Peer educator with the Health Promotions department, and works as a student partner with the office of teaching and learning. Fae is the founding president of the Neurodiversity Resource Group, and helped establish their annual clothing drive which benefits children in foster care. Fae loves to write, and daydreams fae will one day be a romance author. Fae hopes to use faer degree to work in the nonprofit industry fundraising and doing advocacy work.

Esha Mehta

Esha Mehta

Phonetic pronunciation: Aysha Maytah

Title: GSSW Alumni, University of Denver 

  • About Esha

    Esha (she/they) graduated with their Masters of Social Work and a certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work last June. During their graduate career, they interned as a research assistant for the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, IHAC, in the Pets for Life as One Health study. They also interned with the liver transplant team at Porter Adventist Hospital where they utilized therapeutic modalities to help patients engage in substance use treatment and engage in the transplant evaluation process. Currently, they work as a program therapist for Eating Recovery Center’s mood and anxiety program, where they lead group therapy for adults who are struggling with depression, OCD, anxiety, and PTSD.  They have an affinity for working with survivors of complex trauma and dissociative disorders and in the future, plan to incorporate canine assisted interventions into their practice as a licensed clinical social worker. 

Sam Urban

Sam Urban 

Title: Senior Undergrad Student at the University of Denver


  • About Sam

    I am a student struggling with ADHD. I am a critical thinker, who believes in decisive communication. I am currently interested in emergent material science.

Jordan Sinclair

Jordan Sinclair

Title:  Master's Student, University of Denver 



Bill Casson

Bill Casson 

Title: Digital Accessibility Specialist, Information Technology 



  • About Bill

    Bill is the digital accessibility specialist at DU in the enterprise application services department of IT. He started here in December 2020. He is blind and has been different levels of blind his entire life. Bill has his undergrad degree from Lewis & Clark College in physics and math/computer science. He has been doing digital accessibility for about 4 years. 

    Additionally, he is a world-class competitive para-climber. Bill especially enjoys getting into the outdoors; climbing, hiking, cycling, skiing and more. When not in the outdoors, he loves table-top and board games, spending time with friends, listening to podcasts, and reading. He identifies as male and uses he/him pronouns. 

Deb Ortega

Deb Marie Ortega

Title: Faculty, Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) and Director, Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship


  • About Deb

    Bio:  Dr. Debora Ortega is the founding director of the Latinx Center @ the University of Denver.  Her scholarship addresses the way that everyday white supremacy affects Latinx people in health, education and immigration.   She is a professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and the University of Denver/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion.  She joined the DU faculty in 2005.  She is an award-winning scholar, teacher and mentor.

Planning Committee  (Alphabetical Order)

  •  Bill Casson, Information Technology
  • Josiah Dunn, Information Technology
  • Ellen Hogan, Office of Teaching & Learning
  • Clara Kapustka, Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Josh Kaufman, ADA Coordinator, Office of the Chancellor
  • Paula von Kretschmann, Office of Teaching & Learning
  • Alex Martinez, Information Technology
  • Chase McNamee, Community + Values, Office of the Provost

Presentation Slides



We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable individuals of all abilities to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact the ADA Coordinator at or at 303-871-7726. Please note that without adequate notice before the event, we may not be able to provide reasonable accommodations.