In your classroom today, approximately 10-12% of your students have a disability according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Many of these disabilities are not easily identified as they have impacts to mental, social, and psychological regions. What is more startling is that many classrooms are not designed for students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to succeed or fail as their classmates. Why is this? Because curriculum is not created with these students in mind.
"Accessible means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same time-frame as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use." -University of Montana Resolution Agreement with Office of Civil Rights 2012, OCR Reference No. 10122118.
This means that students who are blind, students who have no hands, students who have reading disabilities (the list goes on) need to be able to
in the same time-frame, independently with a comparable ease of use as students without disabilities. In order for this formula to produce success, the instructor must know about how to structure the curriculum in an accessible manner.
It is not reasonable to ask instructors to become accessibility experts. However, universities need to provide teaching moments to faculty about how to incorporate accessibility. A series of web pages have been constructed to provide valuable information in a simple format with clear action items. Click through the different pages using the navigation tabs at the top of this page. There are questions on each page to help bring out the most important points.
Once you are done, check your responses with the answers page. Also look at the What You Need to Do section of each page to start making your curriculum more accessible!