Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Accessibility Champions

Creating excellent learning experiences for each student

We believe that the joy of learning, the freedom to grow, and the benefits of education are fundamental human rights at a university. Accessibility of course materials and Universal Design for Learning is essential for providing an equitable and inclusive learning environment for all Cal Poly Pomona students.

For that reason, in 2019, the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) began a new initiative called eLearning Accessibility Champions (EACH), an initiative that would promote the intrinsic values that Cal Poly Pomona embraces.

In 2020, we re-introduced it to the campus as Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity (CHAI). This name change reflects the ideals of Cal Poly Pomona more fully, not only addressing the different types of accessibility issues, but other barriers to education as well.

Faculty who are willing to put in the very personal work to use universal design principles and make their course materials accessible because they believe that all students deserve a fair shot, they are our heroes.

The Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity project allows us to recognize heroes and help other faculty become heroes. We want to create a network of empathy towards students who benefit from universal design and accessible course materials and towards faculty who provide those materials.

Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity will:
  • Complete CAFE’s asynchronous Fundamentals of Accessibility eCertificate course in Canvas, instituting a baseline awareness of best practices for accessibility and inclusivity. A digital certificate is awarded upon completion.
  • Attend a beginning-of-semester “kick off” and follow-up monthly meetings (< 1 hour each) with CAFE to plan and review program details and strategies.
  • Offer workshops/programs for either semester during their tenure as Champions:
    • Offer at least one college-based accessibility workshop and one college-based quality assurance workshop that address the college’s specific concerns.
    • Facilitate a guided version (2-3 weeks) of CAFE’s Fundamentals of Accessibility eCertificate course in Canvas for their college.
  • Send regular outreach (3-4 times per semester) messages to your college about accessibility, Quality Assurance, and CAFE resources. CAFE will provide template messages for you to customize.
  • Achieve an overall Ally score of 90% or greater for at least one of your courses that is web-enhanced, hybrid, or online. CAFE will help you track this.
  • Nominate future Champions for Accessibility and Inclusivity!

    We anticipate that being a Champion for Accessibility and Inclusivity will require at least 30 hours over the academic year and may be more if your course materials need a lot of work to reach the 90% Ally score. That sounds like a lot of time but it’s only about three hours per month and you will get a ton of support. Keep reading…

This program is incredibly important to us. We believe that all students deserve an equal shot at success no matter what. To this end, CAFE will support you in many ways:

  • As a 2022/23 Champion, you will get up to $1500 in professional development funds
    • $500 - Any time during the academic year upon achieving an overall Ally score of 90% or greater for a single course
    • $1,000 - Achievable at the end of Spring 2023 upon completion of other activities (must be completed in time for fiscal year deadline: April, 2023)
      • Attend monthly meetings
      • Facilitate one accessibility and one quality assurance workshop, as well as a section of our Fundamentals of Accessibility eCertificate
      • Send college outreach messages (to be provided by CAFE)
      • Nominate future Accessibility Champions for your college
  • Receive enhanced student assistance (Studio 6) and instructional design support for your classes. 
  • Campus recognition via outlets such as PolyCentric articles, the CAFE newsletter, and the CAFE Summer Institute. Plus, this is a university level service opportunity.

We’re looking for both full-time faculty or part-time faculty with a one-year contract who can commit to the program for the academic year. Champions need to teach at least one course in the academic year as online, hybrid, or web-assisted. Champions need to be enthusiastic LMS users!

We are now accepting submissions for our 2022/23 cohort.  Please fill out the CHAI Application Form to apply.

Current Champions

Andrea WatsonAndrea Watson, AG

Andrea Watson is a Lecturer in the Animal & Veterinary Sciences Department in the College of Agriculture who began teaching at CPP in 2019. She has participated in several online course development workshops as well as workshops focusing on accessibility. She is committed to promoting an accessible learning experience for students and is excited to join the CHAI Champions to continue to promote accessibility and inclusivity.

Carlos FloresCarlos Flores, ENV

Carlos Flores is a part time adjunct faculty member of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Since 2016, he has taught mostly in-person courses in graphic representation and GIS. Recently, he began learning from ACUE micro-credentials and QM courses. Admittedly, he is not an expert in online course accessibility. But more importantly, he is confident that any instructor in any field can and should create more accessible online learning experiences for students. He knows how to get started, and is excited to help others get started as well.

E’Lisha V FogleE’Lisha V Fogle, CCHM

Dr. E'Lisha V. Fogle is an Assistant Professor in the Collins College of Hospitality Management. Joining the university in 2020, she begin teaching online courses last fall. While advising and instructing mostly new and transfer students, she has recognized the importance of providing accessibility for students in their learning resources. Excited to join the CHAI team, she hopes the opportunity will aid her ability to improve the online learning environment for all learners!

JoNeen OhlåkerJoNeen Ohlåker, CEIS

JoNeen Ohlåker has been teaching in higher education for more than 13 years, employing student success strategies in both, online and face to face learning environments. JoNeen is committed to designing high quality online learning opportunities that empower early education teacher candidates to integrate theory in practice. As part of CEIS, Early Childhood Studies team, JoNeen is excited to promote CHAI strategies and support faculty in improving student accessibility, engagement, and success.

Kristen SchieleKristen Schiele, CBA

Dr. Kristen Schiele is an Associate Professor in the International Business and Marketing department, where she teaches Digital Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and SEO Fundamentals. Dr. Schiele serves on the board of directors for the Marketing Educators’ Association, where she promotes innovation and accessibility in marketing education. She has earned several awards for her teaching contributions including the Provost’s Teacher-Scholar Award, Wall of COOL, Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Grant Recipient (SIRG), SPICE Grant Recipient, and she was the first professor to receive official Quality Matters certification at CPP.

Mai Narasaki-JaraMai Narasaki-Jara, SCI

Dr. Mai has been an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology & Health Promotion (KHP) in the College of Science. She is currently directing CPP Motor Development Clinic (MDC), providing a skill-based exercise program for children with disabilities. MDC also offers service-learning opportunities for CPP students by applying their pedagogical knowledge and skills with MDC children through hands-on experience. She has strived to improve her students’ learning experiences through a service-learning program past 14 years.

Monica PalomoMonica Palomo, ENG

Dr. Palomo is a professor from the College of Engineering. She believes that fostering curiosity and life-long learning skills we can make the world a better place. She considers that an inclusive and equitable learning environment is critical for students to be motivated and enjoy their learning journey. Her courses are developed integrating tools like Ally, QM and UDL guidelines. She is a 2009 fellow and mentor for the ASCE ExCEEd teaching workshop. She has participated in CAFE’s Engaging the Digital Student Initiative, and Remote Course Design; and ACUE’s Active Learning Online and Designing Student-Centered Courses.

Pinar TremblayPinar Tremblay, CLASS

Pinar Tremblay is an adjunct faculty member at the Department of Political Science, CLASS since 2011. She has participated in several summer institutes and ACUE credential programs. She has been an advocate of inclusive and interactive learning systems, online or in person. This year she is part of HyFlex pilot program. She has been using Ally since it was introduced at CPP.

Past Champions


Ann Lara, CCHM
Anna Soper, AG
Annette Koh, ENV
Denise Kennedy, CEIS
Eileen Wallis, CLASS
Jun Myers, CBA
Stephanie Rothman, SCI
Zahra Sotoudeh, ENG


Dale McCabe, SCI
Denisa Chatman-Riley, CLASS
Giselle Navarro-Cruz, CEIS
Greg Placencia, ENG
Kim Miller, AG
Maha Ghosn, CBA