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Accessibility

Strategies and resources to help Centennial faculty embed accessible practices into their teaching.

What is Accessibility?

Equality-Accommodation-Accessibility comparison"Equality, Accommodation, Accessibility". In de Bie, A., & Brown, K. (2017), Forward with FLEXibility: A teaching and learning resource on accessibility, retrieved from https://flexforward.pressbooks.com/chapter/accessible-education/

Accessibility means leveling the playing field for everyone. In the examples above, you can see three ways of participating in a classroom:

  • Equality: Everyone interacts with the system in the same way, but the system is not designed for everyone. Some people cannot participate.
  • Accommodation: Everyone can participate, but only by changing how we normally do things. We allow people with disabilities to participate in the system by adding to it, but the system itself is still not designed for everyone.
  • Accessibility: Everyone can participate because the system was designed for everyone. We do not need to make more changes, because everyone can interact with the system in the way that works best for them.

In education, accessibility means that the way we teach, the content we cover, and the systems students use to access it should work for everyone. It means that our practices and resources should work for everyone "out of the box". It means shifting our thinking, and the way we work, so everyone can participate.

Accessibility means creating learning spaces where disabilities, both disclosed and hidden, are never a barrier to full participation in learning.

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