Accessibility in Teaching and Learning
Today, there are many conversations about the role and purpose of accessibility. From physical spaces to online materials, faculty and administrators need to consider what can be done to make the learning environment beneficial to all regardless of physical, emotional, or learning abilities. This resource will provide resources that can help instructors design curricula that are supportive of various student needs.
At its core, accessibility is the practice of providing an equitable experience to a diverse group of people. Diversity here means differing physical, mental, emotional, linguistic, or learning abilities that each person embodies. Accessibility in education is a crucial component of building equity by ensuring that our teaching practices, technologies, and other materials don’t act as barriers to learning.
To begin building an accessible course, instructors need to be aware of and sensitive to student needs and characteristics. Some aspects, such as ethnicity or home language, may seem obvious, but others might not be. Today, mental health and learning abilities of students are emerging as crucial factors in student success. Thus, instructors who consider both visible and inviable challenges to student learning can work to build an even more accessible learning environment.
Accessibility can be broken down into major categories for design considerations:
Taking the time to understand your current course accessibility is the first step to building an even more accessible course. If you are not sure how accessible your course is, you can reach out for assistance to Dr. Agie Markiewicz-Hocking at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessibility in teaching and learning: https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/resources/accessibility/
Introduction to accessible education: https://teaching.uwo.ca/img/teaching/COU-AODA-Guide.pdf
Accessible teaching practices: https://teaching.washington.edu/inclusive-teaching/accessible-teaching-strategies/
Digital accessibility for all learners: https://tech.ed.gov/accessibility/