Creating an accessible curriculum
When formulating a strategy to ensure that the curriculum is accessible for students with disabilities, consider the following:
- How accessible is the curriculum for students with a range of disabilities?
- How could you make the curriculum more accessible for students with disabilities?
- What steps would you need to take to implement the changes identified?
- Are there any barriers to achieving the changes identified and how can these be overcome?
When offering information about the programme of study it is useful to consider how you could make information about your programme more easily available to potential students including those who may have disabilities.
Consider the following:
What information can you add to your current programme to help potential disabled students to make an informed choice about whether they could undertake your programme?
- What is the programme about and what does it cover?
- What prior knowledge, experience, skills or qualifications will students need to embark on the course?
- What materials for learning will be provided by the department and how much will students be expected to provide for themselves
- How is the programme taught?
- How many students are there per class (lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops)
- When and in what way is the programme taught and assessed?
- Are there any field trips/placements?
Is there a named contact in the department who can offer advice on the programme, for example a Programme Leader, in order that a potential student including those with disabilities may be able to make an informed choice upon seeking advice?
What flexibility is available on your programme which could be made available to a student who has a disability?
- Student attendance requirements (students may be helped by being directed to alternative sources of learning such as library materials)
- Availability of study - part/full time
- Extensions to end dates of modules
- Demonstrating competence in a variety of ways focussing on clearly defined learning outcomes (through alternative assessments)
- Options for assessment tasks
Information and Communication
When offering information and teaching materials to students, it is important to provide these in more than one format, and offer advice about what is considered really important and what is less important. This will ensure that students with disabilities are not disadvantaged. Consider the following:
Are there procedures in place for ensuring that information which is intended for students is communicated in a way in which all students including those with disabilities are able to access this information?
- Example 1 - Some students would be unable to access information on notice boards and as such should be provided with this information in alternative ways to meet the individual students' needs.
- Example 2 - For many courses which involve the use of computers, enabling technology will be required in computing labs. Visually impaired students may need assistive technology to access the Computer/Internet.