International Visual Literacy Association Hosts Virtual Annual Conference Nov. 5-6

October 19, 2021 | Events, News, UToday, Honors
By Meredith Troxel

The International Visual Literacy Association will host its annual conference on Friday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, Nov. 6.

This year’s conference, which is virtual, is co-sponsored by The University of Toledo and the Toledo Museum of Art. The event culminates a year of planning by UToledo faculty, Toledo Museum of Art staff and International Visual Literacy Association board members and is an additional effort to encourage the understanding and teaching of visual literacy in the UToledo community.

Visually literacy describes how we create, evaluate and interpret images and visual media to understand their underlying meaning and to critically decide the best visual media to use in any situation. The UToledo Visual Literacy Initiative has been a partnership with the Toledo Museum of Art since 2018.

This year’s theme is Seeing Across Disciplines: Visual Literacy and Education. The conference will bring together different theoretical viewpoints and practices on visual literacy, joining scholars, students and practitioners from all over the world in a dynamic exchange of ideas.

On Nov. 5, keynote speaker Wendi Pillars will present a talk on the value of visual communication titled “Visual Impact: Transform Communication in Your Boardroom, Classroom or Living Room.” On Nov. 6, keynote speaker Frank Serafini will present a talk about multimodal theories titled “Implications of Multimodal Theories on Visual Literacy Education.”

“The conference is a great opportunity to learn from faculty, including some from UToledo, about the successful integration of visual literacy concepts into their curriculum. Since all majors benefit from these skills, it’s a great way to pick up ideas for your own classroom,” said Heidi Appel, co-director of the UToledo Visual Literacy Initiative, dean of the Honors College and professor of environmental sciences. “To see for yourself, open the schedule and type in key words important to your discipline and teaching.”

Registration is $80 and includes a year of membership to the International Visual Literacy Association. For more information on this year’s conference, including invited speakers and their session topic, and to register, visit Registration is open through Monday, Nov. 1.

There is support available to underwrite the registration costs for UToledo students (undergraduate and graduate). Interested students should contact Appel directly at

UToledo’s Visual Literacy Initiative provides ways to integrate visual literacy into the curriculum. Faculty can visit for instructions on accessing the UToledo visual literacy Blackboard group.

Click to access the login or register cheese