Accessibility and UDL

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Kathleen Bastedo 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #2138

    Kathleen Bastedo
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    Though around since the 1990s, there is growing support for Universal Design for Learning (UDL). A portion of UDL is a way of creating course materials that are accessible not only to students with disabilities but to all students. The application of UDL principles provides strategies to address the learning styles of all students while breaking down possible barriers to learning.

    In relation to this, ELI conducts an annual survey of its higher education learning community which consists of 900 members and includes accessibility and UDL as one of the survey topics. This year’s survey results has moved accessibility and UDL from #12 in 2015 to #2 in 2018. This is a significant increase in the importance placed on this topic that should alert higher education institutions across the country to sit up and take notice.

    ~Kathleen

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  • #2209

    Amber C. Lee
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    Hello Kathleen,
    Thank you for the helpful information! I found the article that reports the data you reference from ELI. The article links to a number of helpful references… I was especially interested in the UDL and accessibility information, as this is a focus area we are trying to improve in our pd right now at my campus. We already include accessibility information related to QM and also 3 pd sessions on different accessibility issues, but I agree that we should be doing more and as the article mentions, there are so many types of considerations and accommodations, it really comes down to a “care ethic” for all learners through the design of the course…

    This is the article I explored for further info: https://www.educause.edu/eli/initiatives/key-issues-in-teaching-and-learning

    Best,
    Amber

    Amber C. Lee, M.Ed.
    Instructional Designer, E-Learning Services, USFSM
    Doctoral Student, USF

  • #2981

    Nancy Swenson
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    How to Make Content Usable to Students: Applying UDL Principles from the Start

    A UDL strategy that can be applied on day one and can help faculty begin their course(s) on the right foot is to include an introductory video with accurate and synchronized closed captions. Introductory videos can help provide a welcoming environment while allowing students an opportunity to get to know their instructor and the course expectations.
    In this video, faculty can go over:

    • course expectations
    • course design and navigation
    • course assignments
    • communication protocols
    • any other information needed to be successful in your course

    Even though most of this information will be included in the Syllabus, referencing it in a video would follow the UDL principle of providing multiple means of representation by offering students a different way of accessing this content. The video will also help students feel connected to their instructor as well as to the course. The information covered in the video will also help students navigate the course with confidence.

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  • #3073

    Amber C. Lee
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    Hello everyone,
    Thank you for the resources, Nancy! I was disappointed to see that accessibility fell from #2 to #5 as a key trend in ELI’s 2019 report. Regardless of its ranking, accessibility is a legal requirement [for us in education] and working hand in hand with UDL principles, we can ensure that the greatest number of learners can access all learning materials in a course and be motivated successfully to complete the course.

    You might be interested in seeing this poster presentation called “Strategies for Cognitive Accessibility” that I recently created for the USF Bay to Bay Symposium on Diversity and Inclusion. I connect UDL, ARCS+V motivation theory, and our online course assessment rubric standards; to share strategies to support learners with varying cognitive ability differences. Cognitive ability differences could be memory loss, trauma or brain injury, aging related changes, dyslexia, learning disabilities, adhd, and autism, just to name a few that you can see in the average classroom these days.

    Amber

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    Amber C. Lee, M.Ed.
    Instructional Designer, E-Learning Services, USFSM
    Doctoral Student, USF

  • #3077

    Kathleen Bastedo
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    Hi Amber,
    That’s a shame about UDL and accessibility dropping a bit on the ELI list. Perhaps it is because institutions have more of a handle on it? Am hoping so anyway!
    Kathleen

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