Queen's University

Accessibility inspires innovations in teaching and learning

[Participants on the Accessibility in Programming and Teaching" panel for Inquiry@Queen's]Participants on the “Accessibility in Programming and Teaching” panel for Inquiry@Queen’s discuss challenges and opportunities found in meeting accessibility needs in educational environments.

Making the learning environment more accessible should be about more than meeting legislative requirements.

“I see the need to provide accessible education as a chance to benefit all students rather than viewing it as an obligation to accommodate certain students only,” says Vicki Remenda, an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering. “If we’re innovative, we can grow and learn together.”

Dr. Remenda believes there is an opportunity to reflect on teaching and learning practices more broadly when making learning environments accessible for students with disabilities. Changes in course design or methods of assessment can have positive impacts on all students.

Recent pilot projects combining online learning components with small group activities have the potential to benefit all students. Blended course formats can meet multiple learning needs and improve students’ engagement with course material.

“There are different ways for students to express information, so it’s really about being flexible and discovering new means of demonstrating and assessing knowledge,” says Michele Chittenden, Coordinator for Library Services for Students with Disabilities. “Developing teaching and assessment strategies that integrate all students’ needs not only provides a more inclusive learning environment but also assists students with disabilities to achieve their learning goals.”

To learn more about accessibility at Queen's, visit the Equity Office website.

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Last updated at 3:38 pm EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
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