Accessibility of Digital Learning for Students in Canada
- Date & Time
Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 3:20 PM PST
Through two related projects, we assessed the difficulties that blind and partially sighted students face when taking online classes in K-12 education and at a post-secondary institutions during COVID-19. Using a mixed methodology including: a literature review, a policy scan, survey analysis and key informant interviews identify three key issues. These are that course content and designers need to understand accessibility needs of learners, rigid evaluation frameworks and lack of instructor training with OLMS can create barriers for students with disabilities.
In a national survey of student experiences note the lack adequate support, with course materials arriving 2 to 3 weeks late. Many students' responses also explain the general inaccessibility of their coursework, including textbooks, online articles, and classroom. At the K-12 level, every school board has an accessibility policy regarding the goals and guidelines they have in place for ensuring equal access to education for all their students. Many school board policies discuss accessible materials and formats but not specifically in an online learning framework. In summary, the online learning environments in Canadian K-12 and postsecondary education during COVID-19 were sometimes difficult to navigate. Integrated approaches to improve accessibility of online learning will improve the “future state” for students with disabilities.
- Higher Education
- Disability Specific
- K-12 Education
- Research & Development
- Audience Level
- Session Summary (Abstract)
We assess students’ accessibility experiences with online learning from K-12 and post-secondary institutions with mixed-methods during COVID-19. We can connection educational policy landscape in Canada to classroom experiences in Canada.
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