Accessibility & Accommodations
Western is committed to creating an accessible campus environment for students with disabilities. We understand that each individual may be facing unique challenges and/or circumstances during these unprecedented times. We recognize that each of these needs are unique, and a solution for one may not be a solution for others. We hope this resource provides guidance on ways to enhance accessibility in your courses.
We encourage you to consider the following:
- Students may have limited or no access to personal aides and accommodation service providers while at home.
- They may be trying to learn in a less-than-ideal environment with other members of their household working from home or learning remotely.
- While at home, a student may be limited in their devices, digital tools, connection bandwidth, supportive working space as well as lack of familiarity with the new tools and formats you have chosen for adapted course delivery.
With these considerations in mind, we must pivot course planning to ensure each student is able to successfully access course content and complete course requirements. In your course planning, consider the following:
- Provide multiple formats of instruction.
- Create accessible course material by integrating alternative text.
- Consider using more than one method of assessment
- Be flexible with the tools and format for students to submit their course work.
Examples of Multiple Formats for Course Delivery
- In your lectures, describe images and charts with greater detail (i.e., describe video as if you were speaking to someone over the phone).
- To help mitigate issues associated with reliable bandwidth, turn off the default HD video in your Zoom settings to help.
- Record your lectur: by recording your lecture, you will allow the opportunity for students to review on their own time and on a stable Internet connection. Additionally, a recording also allows for captioning of your lecture.
It is important to view such accessibility as beneficial for everyone, and not just one sub-group. By implementing these proactive practices, you will be able to provide inclusive content and remove barriers to your course content before they negatively affect anyone, which enables all students to access your course material regardless of a disability or condition. Accessibility & Accommodation is here to help you understand your obligations, and to offer services and resources to help you facilitate these accommodations.
If you have any questions, ask for help and reach out to Centre for Teaching and Learning at Western.
As we transition through these uncertain times, please lead with compassion and understanding. We want you and our students to feel comfortable while on campus. Be considerate for the various requests for accommodations and circumstances that may come your way. If you ever have questions, please reach out to Accessibility at Western.