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Elizabeth RG Barker

Headshot of Elizabeth Barker

An educator at heart, Elizabeth has been involved in education and digital accessibility for over 20 years. Her passion for ensuring students and adults have access to learning is palpable.  

Elizabeth began her career as a special education teacher in Michigan and gradually made her way west to Oregon via Colorado. Prior to joining CAST, she was an Accessibility Research Manager at NWEA/HMH, where her research supported students with disabilities policies and practice. Additionally, she contributed to the creation of accessible products and strategic planning to ensure access for students with disabilities. During her time at NWEA, Elizabeth received the AI for Accessibility Grant from Microsoft for two years. Her team innovatively used AI to support assistive technology for the blind and low vision students, specifically in mathematics.  

In addition to her work at NWEA/HMH, Elizabeth volunteers for Teach Access and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Portland in the Department of Education.


“No human culture is inaccessible to someone who makes the effort to understand, to learn, to inhabit another world.” 

― Henry Louis Gates Jr. 


Ph.D., Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership; University of Oregon 

M.A., Special Education; University of Colorado at Denver 

B.A., Special Education and General Education; Western Michigan University 

Selected Publications: 

Cawthon, S., Barker, E., Daniel, J., Cooc, N., & Vielma, A.G. (2022). Longitudinal models of reading and mathematics achievement in deaf and hard of hearing students. The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, enac033, 

Johnson, A. & Barker, E. (2022). Understanding Differential growth during school years and summers for students in special education. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR). 

Guerreiro, M., Barker, E., & Johnson, J. (2022). Measuring Student Reading Comprehension Performance: Considerations of Accuracy, Equity, and Engagement by Embedding Comprehension Items within Reading Passages. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 27(11). Available online 

Selected Presentations: 

Kuhfeld, M. & Barker, E. (2023). Education’s long COVID: 2022-23 achievement data reveal stalled progress towards pandemic recovery. College Board Students with Disabilities Conference, Portland, OR.  

Sena, C. & Barker, E. (2023). What happens when multilingualism meets accessibility? National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE), Portland, OR.  

Freed, G. & Barker, E. (2023). Improving the accessibility of math for middle schoolers. CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, Anaheim, C. 

Barker, E., & Cawthon, S. (2021). Reaching Students with Disabilities Online. South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin, TX (virtual conference). 

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