How can AODA accessibility standards be best interpreted for teaching and course design contexts?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) sets out a broad legal framework for accessibility standards in Ontario. Full compliance with the act requires not only structural considerations (e.g. ) but practice considerations. For education, this means attention to how course design and classroom practices can serve to meet AODA standards. But if the AODA is broad legalese, how are we best to interpret it for teaching and learning?

Resources

The resources provided here do some of the initial work in interpreting AODA for instruction and curriculum. We recommend identifying a model or set of principles that you can refer to regularly for informing decisions that intend to make learning accessible to all.

Universal Instructional Design

Universal Instructional Design  or Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is about accessibility for all. By working with guidelines for achieving multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement, learning  designed for all people regardless of difference, not just the average with accommodation for disability. This framework can be adopted for not only meeting AODA requirements but for broadening understandings of what it means for learning, teaching, and curriculum to be accessible.

Accessible Teaching and Learning Recommendations

UOIT Accessibility Design Best Practices. This module provides a range of resources for instructors for accessible instruction and assessment, accessibility considerations for laboratories, and faculty FAQs.

University of Guelph Accessibility and Course Materials. This one-page resource differentiates minimum accessibility preparedness and fully accessible materials, providing an Ontario context that is based on AODA

Accessible eLearning

W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. This quick reference guide sets out clear and specific requirements and techniques for making multimedia accessible, which both align with the AODA and specify clear avenues for making content accessible.

COU Accessibility in eLearning. This resource outlines some recommend best practices (standards, authoring practices, settings) for creating and delivering eLearning that’s accessible to everyone.

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