Universal Design

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					         Accommodating Students
             with Disabilities
                “You are the Key to Accessibility”

Universal Design
Presented by:
Disability Resource Services Staff and
Individuals with Disabilities
Advisory Committee
Developed by Utah State University, Project supported by a grant from U.S.
Department of Education Office of Post Secondary Education. P33A990006
Introduction to
Universal Design
Concept of universal design originated
     in architectural planning.

Focus was to design physical spaces
     accessible from the start, rather
     than adapting later.
“Universal Design is an approach to design
that acknowledges the changes experienced
by everyone during his or her lifetime. It
considers children, old people, people who
are tall or short, and those with various
disabilities. It addresses the lifespan of a
human being beyond the mythical average
person.”            --Gordon Mansfield, former Chair,
                    Architectural and Transportation
                    Barriers Compliance Board
                    (Adaptive Environments)
Universal Design
in Education is:
Making the goals of learning attainable
     for all students
     --regardless of learning style,
     physical, sensory, organizational,
     or linguistic abilities.
Emphasizes meeting unique needs.
Provides a variety of alternatives to access
      and engage in the learning process.
Goes beyond accommodation students
      with disabilities to benefit all students.
Use Best Practice
Instructional Strategies
 Provide information in a variety of

 Use methods that engage different

 Restate questions asked in class.

 Provide additional time for lab access.
Instructional Strategies cont.
 Create an expanded syllabus outlining
  course requirements and due dates.

 Provide specific criteria and examples for
  projects and assignments.

 Give frequent and timely feedback so
  students can assess progress.

 Consider building flexibility into your
  attendance policy.
   Access to Course Materials
         and Resources
Adopt textbooks early to allow transcribing
     into Braille, e-text or taped texts.

 Choose textbooks with online
  supplements and learning
  supports whenever possible.

 Put materials on the Web early to allow
  students a head start.

 Alert the Disability Resource Services
  office of any textbook changes.
Provide Information in Multiple
Formats – Make Note-taking Easier
 –Handout materials in advance for preview or formatting.

 –Give copies of over heads, outlines, and lecture notes or

 –Post to a website in digital format for access by assistive

 –Use   larger font size and stronger contrast
    on visuals (overheads and presentations).

– Read aloud overheads or writing on the board.

– Allow lectures to be recorded or post them in the library.

– Use videos that are captioned.
Provide Advance Organizers
and Summaries
  -   Provide a preview of information and list
      important steps.

  -   Summarize regularly, allowing for review
      and information processing.

  -   Provide a brief introduction prior to new
      concepts, so students orient to new
Use Partners and
Cooperative Learning Groups
  – Encourage students to form pairs or small
    study groups.

  – Consider ways to include students with
    disabilities in experiences.

  – Have classmates share reports with a
    student who could not participate.

  – Maximize any natural supports available at
    your institution.
Create a Welcoming Climate
  – Treat all students with respect and dignity.

  – Encourage any student struggling to master a
    topic to visit you during office hours.

Use a Variety of Ways
to Assess Knowledge
 –Allow students to do an oral presentation in lieu
    of an exam.
 –Allow the option of taking multiple choice or
    essay tests.
Be Aware of Support Systems
 Identify service organizations on
 campus to refer students to for help:

           Information Technology Services
           103 Wing Technology Center

 Disability Resource Services
 165 Murphy Library Resource Center
Difficulties experienced by
postsecondary students who are
diagnosed with a disability may
include: reading,
          and written language.
Technology Available for Students
with Disabilities:
  –   word processors with spell checking
  –   proofreaders
  –   abbreviation expanders
  –   outlining software programs
  –   variable speech-control tape recorders
  –   optical character recognition systems
  –   listening aids
  –   speech-synthesis/screen review systems
  –   speech-recognition systems
  –   data managers
  –   talking calculators

 These devices can enhance the individual's abilities
             by circumventing deficits.
Purchasing and Training
Select technology designed for use by the
    general public. (Standard technology is
    usually less expensive and in many
    instances will better prepare the student
    for the workplace.)

Compatibility between new software or
   hardware that is already owned or being

Once the appropriate technology has been selected:
   provision for the training needs to be
   instruction in its use should include general
           strategies effective in teaching all
           students with disabilities.

 Opportunity for further training as software is

Funding for upgrades.
If the technology meets the needs
           of the individual
      in bypassing the deficit,
     has the ability to perform
         necessary functions,
and is appropriate for use across
 it should improve the functional
    capabilities of the individual
          with disabilities,
   providing the equal access to
        education as stated in
             Section 504.
Universal Access to Information
Technology Resources
 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  Web Accessibility Policy
  July 2003
 Web Site Development Requirements, Tips
  and Tricks

There is no absolute formula for universal
design in education. It is an approach to
designing and creating materials, processes,
spaces, and practices that embrace the
widest range of abilities and needs possible.
More than that, it is a commitment to

By seeking out materials and approaches that
have used a, universal design approach and
by using universal design concepts in day-to-
day practice, teachers will help more students
access the knowledge and skills they need
from the general education curriculum and
                           – The Access Center

Disability Resource Services Web Pages

CAST Universal Design for Learning

Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education

Educational Technology Review

Universal Design: Making Education Accessible to All Learners

Trace Center
UW-La Crosse Web

Making our World Wide Web
Available for All

                      Janice Ward
                      ITS Support Manager
Creating the Policy
 Group with faculty, staff and administrative
  representatives met to create recommended
  policy, suggest tools and processes.
 Policy was then taken to Provost and
  Provost’s Council for discussion and
 Policy was endorsed by council and
  forwarded to Chancellor and final approval
  was granted in May 2003.
The Policy States…
 When web sites               Requires compliance
  should be accessible          with all Section 508
  (Jan. 1, 2004)                guidelines
 Each division must be        Adds one requirement
  responsible for               for each page to
  monitoring and fixing         contain UW-L contact
  their own web sites           information: full-time
 Tool recommended is           staff member or
  AccVerify from                staffed number in unit
  HiSoftware (campus
  license available)
Why Section 508 Standards?
 More objective set of
 Easier to understand
  than W3C priority
 Legal basis
 Easier to meet yet still
  covers most needed
Five Common Problems
 Missing ALT Text: What happens if the
  pictures go away?
 Frames: Stuck in a rut
 JavaScript: Cute, fun, - OOPS!
 Applet/plug-in links for posted items: I
  don’t have Microsoft Word!
 Data Tables: What column is that in?
Most Common Problem –
Missing ALT Text
 All images, movies, clip
  art and other visual
  elements require
  alternative text so they
  can be understood by a
  screen reader or when
  graphics are turned off.
 Estimated that nearly
  80% of UW-L web page
  problems are from
  missing ALT text.
 Extremely easy to fix!
Frames – Hard to Navigate
 Frames are a technique of coding to display
  two or more web pages at the same time as
  a single page.
 Navigation on left, title on top is a very
  common frames use.
 Section 508 requires each frame has a title.
 Reality is that frames are extremely hard to
  navigate and should be redesigned into
JavaScript – Easy to find, hard to fix
 Flying menus, changing buttons, moving
  “parts” to your web site are usually from
 Very easy to create with scripts on the web
  or created by FrontPage/Dreamweaver
 If content doesn’t change, you’re OK.
 If content does change, need <NOSCRIPT>
  item that provides the same content.
  (Flying menus)
Links to Download Applets/Plug-Ins
 Where do I get Acrobat Reader? What if I
  don’t have Word? Flash???
 Any plug-in, document or other item on
  your site that requires another piece of
  software to be viewed must have a link to
  where that software can be downloaded.
 Microsoft does provide free viewers for
  Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
 Acrobat Reader download
Data Tables vs. Layout Tables
 Layout tables are about looks (require
  nothing further by Section 508 guidelines)
 Data tables display facts and figures
 Data table row and column headings must
  have special coding to identify themselves
Resources for You
 Web Accessibility Liaisons
 Training –
 Consultations and support after training
 Web pages
  – UW-L guidelines
  – Full online tutorial of all Section 508 guidelines
  – Useful outside web sites
 Campus License of Validation Tools
Web Accessibility Liaisons
 Each College and
  Division has appointed
  a web accessibility
  liaison whom ITS
  works with to gain
  policy compliance.
 Process is still young
  and suffers from lack
  of resources but we
  are gaining.
 2 part class:
   – Web Accessibility Guidelines
   – AccVerify Tool
 Training is required before individual consultation
  and support is available.
 Custom classes for groups of 5 or more available –
  only cost to you is reproduction of materials.
 Custom classes: or
Consultation and Support
                 Must complete
                  training first
                 Individual desk-side
                  consultation available:
                  only thing we offer
                  this service for!
                 785-8774
Web Pages
   – Full online tutorial of Section 508 Guidelines
   – UW-L Web guidelines and suggestions
   – One of the best sites for web accessibility
Validation Tools
 Campus site license for HiSoftware’s
 Also use campus-wide monitoring tool from
  HiSoftware: AccMonitor
  – Provides weekly picture of where campus is at
    with web accessibility compliance (~48%
Things to Remember
 Keep web pages simple
  and compliant to web
  accessibility – this means
  the materials you post on
  the web as well!
 Add ALT text to images
  to solve nearly 80% of the
 Make use of local and
  web-based resources
 Spread the Word!