Location: Salon 1
This is an expertise exchange in the Cyberlearning 2017 Expertise Exchange session
We need to be prepared to work with participants with very different backgrounds, experiences, abilities… and disabilities. Accommodations and universal design (UD) are two approaches to commonly used to attempt to meet the various needs of participants. Accommodations are a reactive process, providing access for a specific participant and arise from a medical model of disability. Thinking only of accommodation does not guarantee that all civil rights legislation in addressed. In contrast, UD is a proactive process rooted in a social justice approach to disability and is beneficial to all participants. UD is designing products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. A UD approach can benefit people who face challenges related to socioeconomic status, race, culture, gender, age, language, or ability. While accommodations are important, we can minimize retrofitting for specific participants by implementing universal design in the planning stages. But where do you start? In this session we will share steps you can take to make your program more universally designed, welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by all potential students, including those with disabilities.