AST To Present at USDLA’s International Forum for Women in E-Learning (IFWE)

By: Aylin Dunham
Image of two women working together at a desk space.

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AST is excited to participate in the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)’s International Forum for Women in eLearning (IFWE) this week in New Orleans, Louisiana. The forum focuses on including and supporting women and other underrepresented communities who are making waves in the eLearning and higher education spaces.

For the event, AST has partnered with technology company Verbit for a key presentation which will be delivered by AST’s Senior Customer Success Manager Leslie Sands.

“IFWE is an organization that promotes and supports women in leadership roles in higher education,” said Sands. “It’s an event where women can share experiences and learn from each other.” Sands brings a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to IFWE, having worked with hundreds of educational organizations to support their accessibility goals throughout her career.

AST’s Focus & Presentation

Educators can tune in on Thursday, December 2nd at 4:30pm CT to hear Sands present, as well as listen to additional eLearning professionals making an impact in distance and online learning.

AST’s presentation will center on strategies for ensuring equity and access in online environments, accounting for new modalities in student learning like transcription and audio description.

“I hope that the women attending will learn from my presentation that the pandemic taught us we can no longer be reactive. We must be proactive and change how we interact with today’s students, whether it is face to face, hybrid or fully online,” said Sands.

Image of two women sitting at a desk and talking to each other.

How IFWE Is Empowering Women

UDLA’s IFWE event has been held every year since 2004, providing attendees with a collaborative platform for open discussions, diverse voices and shared ideas. The forum was held virtually in 2020, with many attendees excited to meet in person this year.

This year’s sessions, including Sands’s, will center on the forum’s “Empower” theme, focusing on effective leadership strategies, transformational ideas and best practices in eLearning. Another track of the event centers on helping professionals feel fulfilled in their work and personally, sharing ideas on work-life balance and self-care.

Sparking Change in Online Learning

“Change can happen in a second and we must be prepared to meet it,” said Sands of the continued evolution and changes impacting the eLearning industry. Attendees will learn how to adapt to these changes most effectively and how to apply new techniques and tools that ensure access and inclusion for all.

Professionals attending IFWE will learn more about the challenges online students are facing . Those interested in attending IFWE can still register online.

For more information on AST, which is helping to support eLearning platforms like Cengage Learning and Pearson Education to make their content accessible to diverse audiences, reach out to us. You can also learn more about AST’s video accessibility tools like captioning to better support and engage your online learners.