Technically Sick
Technically Sick
Oct 10, 2022
The Enormous Impact of Education Accessibility
Play • 45 min

Monica speaks with Lucy Greco, a Web Accessibility Evangelist for the Universities of California. In this episode, Lucy shares her personal experience navigating the education system as a disabled student and how she now supports other students to create learning conditions that work for them. 

“A person has to be highly educated to get an education, if you have a disability.” - Lucy Greco 



  • 01:58 When Lucy realized her personal and professional experience had come together to help the disability community 
  • 06:52 Lucy’s work with UC Berkeley and how it helps disabled students 
  • 07:39 The importance of remote access to education 
  • 13:20 Other types of tech that can help with college campus accessibility 
  • 15:56 Why it is so important to hire employees with disabilities 
  • 19:32 Why companies should work with universities and disability centers 
  • 21:09 Accessibility and education 
  • 23:10 The importance of universal design 
  • 27:18 The financial implications of being disabled 
  • 29:28 What is the process like to get accommodations in colleges and universities 
  • 32:32 How to better advocate for yourself 
  • 35:58 Lucy’s favorite technology 
  • 37:48 Virtual reality benefits for education 

Takeaway Learnings 

1) Disabled students have so much to offer, but their capacities are being hindered by technologies that are often not taking their needs into consideration. 

2) In teaching disabled students how to use accessible technology, they are empowered to share those technologies and skills with others. 

3) There are a variety of technological innovations that can be utilized in educational settings like 3D printing for tactile learning, braille embossers, live scribe pens for annotation, and so much more. The key is to get these resources into the hands of the students that need them. 

4) The cost of accommodations are a huge burden on disabled students. Therefore, they often take longer to complete their degrees, and they still have to pay the extra tuition for extended time, which is ultimately inequitable. 

Actionable Tips

1) Currently students and their guardians may not even be aware of the resources available to them. Make sure to reach out to the accessibility departments at your university and fight for your rights as much as feels possible. Everyone deserves a strong accessible education. 

2) If you are a developer, focus on universal and human centric design to create broad usability. Function must be prioritized over aesthetics. 

3) Consider hiring disabled developers to be a part of the design and innovation process to ensure that your product is easy for everyone to use, and to highlight possible blind spots in the developmental process. 

4) Many educators are not effectively trained and equipped to support and to provide resources to disabled students. If you are part of a school system, consider providing resource teachers and workshops to equip students with the best possibility to succeed in their education. 

About Lucy Greco 

Lucy Greco is the Web Accessibility Evangelist for UC Berkeley. She has been blind since birth. She first started using computers in 1985. Upon graduating from college, instead of continuing her interest in literature and physical therapy, Lucy became an accessible technology specialist. Since then, people have come to Lucy asking questions, such as: How can I experience email as a blind person? How can I experience using a word processor as a person with no hands? Lucy’s passion for access technology drove her to find the answers to these questions and more, and today she is working at improving her own and others skills through participation in the BATS community. 

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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