Headshot of Trish Trifilo
Dr. Tricia Ritschel-Trifilo

Dr. Ritschel-Trifilo first became involved in digital learning in 2006, when she was appointed Hardin Simmons University’s Director of Online Learning. She subsequently took a similar position at Wayland Baptist University. She has recently retired from that position and now lives in Colorado.

An active member of TxDLA, Dr. Ritschel-Trifilo served multiple years as Conference Program Chair, Conference Chair, and President. In her role as TxDLA Professional Development Committee Chair is where she made her most significant contribution to the field, and to online learning in Texas, and beyond.

In 2016 TxDLA offered the first Digital Accessibility Certificate Program course as a vehicle for helping practitioners of digital learning increase their understanding of digital accessibility and make their digital courses more accessible, and spreading the word about digital accessibility. Dr. Ritschel-Trifilo was the team leader and founding member of the team that created this program, and served as the first facilitator as well as hosting the courses on the Wayland Baptist University servers at no cost. Over two hundred participants have completed the course since its inception, and the course has been expanded to offer three or four sessions each year. While initially, all the participants were from institutions with members in TxDLA, the program has become recognized in the field as now there are even participants from other states and countries. Many of the participants use their increased understanding of digital accessibility to offer professional development trainings to their own faculty and staff.

The TxDLA Digital Accessibility Course was the first of its type in the nation. In 2019 the TxDLA Digital Accessibility Certification Program Committee, led by Dr. Ritschel-Trifilo, was recognized for Excellence & Innovation in Digital Learning by TxDLA.

At Wayland Baptist University, Dr. Ritschel-Trifilo worked with students, especially students with disabilities to assist them in using technology to accommodate disabilities, and helped the Wayland Disability Office understand digital accessibility. She also has been instrumental in interacting with policymakers across Texas, including politicians, to raise the awareness and consideration of distance and digital education.