In May 2021, ILCCO hosted the Breaking Down Barriers Accessibility Series. Recordings from the series are available on the ILCCO website.
Highlights shared by participants:
- Padlet resource used for shared notes and related resources was valuable.
- There are a ton of inclusive tools available that are easy for faculty to use. The challenge is knowing what exists and remembering to use them! Specifically, Microsoft Translator App, immersive readers, dictate, read-aloud functions and Microsoft built-in accessibility checkers to help with headings, images (alt-text), tables, and hyperlinks are helpful.
- We need to remember to be accessible with live sessions, too. Techniques such as describing images, intentional quiet time (and music) for processing, and allowing multiple options for feedback and interaction support universal design for learning (UDL). We need to practice and model strategies regardless of delivery or course format so we are comfortable using them and it becomes a natural part of our teaching.
- There are a lot of different types of assistive technologies and tools students may be using. We often forget to ask those who directly impacted what they need for support. Student sharing of experiences regarding accommodations was enlightening.
- We need to talk about access instead of accessibility. Interactions should also consider wider-world impact and relevance beyond materials, each other, and institution.
- Be nice! We never know the challenges our students face. Be kind to all students and give them the benefit of the doubt and be flexible whenever possible. Our students can easily be derailed by one misunderstanding or simple temporary setback that they see as a permanent barrier to their success.
Did you attend a session and have something to share?
Please email your key takeaways to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Breaking Down Barriers” in the subject line.