Inclusive practice is an approach to teaching that recognises the diversity of students, enabling all students to access course content, fully participate in learning activities and demonstrate their knowledge and strengths at assessment. USW seeks to ensure that all of its learning and teaching provision is accessible and inclusive and aims to create an environment that is an inclusive place to work and study where an individual’s personal characteristics do not create barriers for them in any aspect of their work or study.
In the past, adjustments for disabled students tended to be made on a case-by-case basis. By contrast, inclusive practice (also called universal design for learning) sees students with disabilities as part of a very broad continuum of student abilities and needs, and rather than treat disabled students as special cases, seeks to identify and remove barriers in the curriculum that are incidental to the learning process, thereby benefiting all students. In the same way in which building a wheelchair ramp in a pavement benefits many more people than just wheelchair users (for example parents with pushchairs or people making deliveries with trolleys), building inclusivity into the curriculum and delivery methods benefits more than just those students with disabilities.
CELT can advise and assist course leaders to find ways to enhance academic standards, improve retention, or remove barriers incidental to learning which prevent students from achieving a course’s learning outcomes. Course leaders who have courses undergoing validation or review, or who would like to ensure that their courses are accessible to disabled students, are encouraged to contact us; we can help you develop practical strategies for increasing retention and enhancing standards in courses with high drop-out rates or with high numbers of disabled/dyslexic students or students from backgrounds which have left them academically under prepared.
The following is a list of organisations which bring together materials across the HE sector, or produce sector-wide guidance:
Equality Challenge Unit including guidance on disability law for academic staff
University of Washington’s Do-It Centre (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or if you wish to discuss any of these issues further.
Senior Lecturer in Educational Development
(01443) 6 54850