Accessible Teaching and Learning
Ontario is shifting paradigms – moving away from the medical model of disability (where disability is an individual deficiency) to a social model of disability (where disability is a social construct). The social model focuses attention on institutional barriers that impede persons with disabilities from full participation in society, including post-secondary education. Accessibility is the removal of these systematic barriers and the creation of accessible goods, services, or facilities. Accessible teaching and learning means that we create an educational setting that respects the dignity, independence, integration, and equality of opportunity of all students, including students with disabilities.
The educational and functional impact of disabilities in an educational setting is unique to a particular student. Designing accessible courses with these common impacts in mind (using the principles of Universal Design for Learning) can reduce the need for some accommodations and increase a student’s chance for success in the classroom.
The Council of Ontario Universities has developed resources to assist educators at Ontario universities in creating accessible learning environments for students and supporting universities in meeting the requirements of Section 16 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation of the AODA: Training of Educators. This toolkit includes information and resources on accessible course design, including tips on writing a syllabus, creating accessible lectures, and creating accessible Power Point slides.
- Council of Ontario Universities Accessibility Campus
- Centre for Pedagogical Innovation - Accessible Teaching & Learning
- Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)
- National Center on Universal Design for Learning