Making the Digital Classroom Accessible for all Students
Educational access is the provision of classroom accommodations, auxiliary aids and services to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students regardless of ability
- Ten ideas for instructors for communicating, summarizing and accommodating learners when redesigning your course for digital delivery. Top Ten Tips: NIC PDF
- Department of Accessible Learning Services (DALS): Digital Exams for Students with Disabilities: Webpage
For some of our students, the change to remote learning and digital learning platforms may be empowering and provide them with more opportunities to be successful, but for others the change itself may be just the beginning of new challenges.
NIC’s Department of Accessible Learning Services (DALS) are working hard to advise and support students with documented disabilities who wish to start or continue their studies at NIC. It is important for faculty to be aware that, just like in the F2F classroom, they will be working with students with diverse needs. The following tips are to support faculty in creating a learning environment that is accessible to all students.
For more information and consultation, please contact a member of the DALS team https://www.nic.bc.ca/student-services/accessible-learning-services/
- Accommodating students with documented disabilities falls under the College’s legal responsibility of Human Rights and Duty to Accommodate https://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca/eng/content/what-duty-accommodate
- Students with documented disabilities are encouraged to meet with a member of our DALS team. If it is determined that the student requires accommodations, the instructor will receive an accommodation letter. If you need support in providing the accommodations, please reach out to a member of DALS.
- Keep in mind that accessibility is everyone’s responsibility and is not just related to students with documented disabilities.
- Ensure that any videos or lectures that you show are accessible to students with hearing impairments either by being transcribed or captioned. Captioning is available for YouTube videos. For transcription or captioning questions, please get in touch with the DALS team.
- When designing content, use the following Checklist for Accessibility available at BCcampus: https://opentextbc.ca/accessibilitytoolkit/back-matter/appendix-checklist-for-accessibility-toolkit/
- Learn about accessibility features on BlackBoard by going to the following links:
- Consider offering choice and alternatives for assignments and assessments. For more information, check out these resources from BCcampus: https://bccampus.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Assessment.pdf
- The Association on Higher Education and Disabilities provides excellent resources for designing accessible courses. https://exploreaccess.org/accessible-online-course/
- If you identify a student who is struggling, recommend and use the supports available: DALS, Counselling, peer tutoring, Library and Learning Commons, and Early Assist
Adapted from www.kpu.ca/learningcentres with thanks