A new cross-unit collaboration is focusing on ways to create more accessible and inclusive classes for students.
The Accessible and Inclusive Design workshop series is a collaboration between the Teaching Engagement Program, UO Online, the Accessible Education Center and UO Libraries. It offers practices to create more accessible and inclusive classes for students, particularly students with disabilities.
The practical sessions focus on the needs and recommendations identified in student experience surveys, which are summarized in the Academic Data Analytics unit’s Practitioner Guide: Accessibility.
Upcoming virtual sessions are described in detail on the series’ webpage and include:
- April 13, 1-2 p.m.: Accessible Documents Part 1, Creating New Documents.
- April 13, 2-3 p.m.: Accessible Documents Part 2, Remediating Existing Documents.
- April 20, 1-2 p.m.: Developing and Revising Assignments with Universal Design for Learning.
- April 27, 1-2 p.m.: Using Open Educational Resources.
- May 4, 1-2 p.m.: Rethinking “Participation” with UDL.
- May 11, 1-2 p.m.: Canvas Accessibility with Pope Tech.
- May 18, 1-2 p.m.: Centering Neurodivergent Learners.
“We want students to dedicate their full attention to lessons taught by faculty and GEs, but some students are too exhausted by the time they’ve figured out how to navigate non-web-accessible content,” series coordinator Laurel Bastian said. “Our teaching practices and structures are not neutral. So our hope is to highlight those doable actions students have asked us to make, to practice them more ourselves, and to support faculty in practicing them.”
Bastian also notes that many faculty members and staff have worked to be flexible and responsive to students throughout the pandemic and feel stretched thin. Series collaborators have kept that in mind while taking steps to make accessibility resources and information an easy part of course design.
They encourage faculty members and graduate employees experiencing challenges with accessibility to get focused, one-on-one support through the Teaching Engagement Program and UO Online’s website contact page. Faculty and graduate employees with questions about specific accommodations can contact the Accessible Education Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consultations with the center and the Teaching Engagement Program together also may be available.
Workshops are Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. on Zoom through spring term. Faculty members, students and staff at any level of knowledge are welcome. All sessions will be recorded, and the webpage for the series includes detailed agendas, slides and resources.