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Exploring dramatic changes in the landscape around Accessibility in Higher Education

June 20, 2019
By: 
Frederic Fovet

The face of Accessibility and Disability service provision is changing rapidly. Over the last decade, service requests made to accessibility services have as much as tripled on certain campuses. These services often no longer have, as a result, sufficient staffing and resources to address demand. Campuses are becoming increasingly concerned of the cost of providing these services on such a scale and are looking for more inclusive alternatives that do not require students to rely on retrofitting.  

Students, for their part, are at times also growing wary of the need to disclose and be labelled before they can access support services. They are also growing more eloquent in their demand for more inclusive pedagogy that genuinely addresses learner diversity.  

The traditional mode of Disability service provision is literally cracking at the seams, and it is within this landscape that campuses are seeking out new and innovative frameworks that transform pedagogy, focus on inclusive design, integrate a Social Model perspective on Disability and reduce the need for retrofitting. It is in this urgent and tumultuous context that Universal Design for Learning appears as particularly pertinent.  

On Tuesday June 25th, from 12 to 1pm, Kyla McLeod, Director of Student Services, and Frederic Fovet, Program Head for MAELM who was previously Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill, will share their experiences and analysis of the current challenges experienced by Disability service providers. They will also examine how UDL can help campuses move forward and address learner diversity while easing the pressure felt by accessibility staff.     

The session will take place on the 4th floor of the LIC building, and will also be Livestreamed. This SET Presents Session offers a perfect introduction to UDL for staff or faculty wishing to join the Third Pan-Canadian Conference on UDL which will take place on Campus October 2nd-4th.