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University of Phoenix to host webcast panel on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

By Melany Stroupe

Panel will discuss leading practices on accessibility as part of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as new survey findings revealing American perceptions of online accessibility

University of Phoenix today announced they will host a diversity webcast panel on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), May 20, 2021 from 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET. The panel will examine leading practices on accessibility as part of diversity, equity and inclusion and what steps employers need to take within their companies to create a culture of accessibility that supports employees and customers.

GAAD is a day to bring awareness to, and educate people globally on, the importance of digital accessibility for people with disabilities and impairments, including the more than one billion people who are blind or visually impaired, hard of hearing, or have motor and/or cognitive disabilities.

In honor of GAAD, University of Phoenix also commissioned Harris Poll to survey 2,063 U.S. adults to better understand their perceptions of digital accessibility. The survey found that more than two in five employed adults (44%) have asked for at least one workplace accommodation due to disability. Of those who have requested workplace accommodations before, 65% said their needs changed during the pandemic, with 27% saying it changed significantly.

“Organizations need to recognize that for individuals with disabilities, digital accessibility is essential to their ability to engage with, learn from and communicate via the digital world,” said Kelly Hermann, Vice President of Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion at University of Phoenix. “This must be a part of diversity and inclusion programs for universities and businesses.”

Opening remarks will be given by Andrea Smiley, Vice President of Public Relations at University of Phoenix. Panelists will include:
• Kelly Hermann, Vice President of Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion at University of Phoenix
• Nora Vele, Executive Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Merck
• Girish Ganesan, Global Head of D&Q and Head of Talent at TD Bank
• Stephen Framil, Enterprise Digital Governance at Merck
• Moderating the panel will be Jane Oates, President of WorkingNation

To learn more or register for the panel, visit:

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix on April 16 – 20, 2021 among 2,063 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses and interactive learning help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. We serve a diverse student population, offering degree programs at select locations across the U.S. as well as online. For more information, visit

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