Safe Boarding for All: The Role of Digital and Physical Accessibility
"A disability awareness handbook should be produced by any IT department on how to ensure that recordings have subtitles and how to activate and upload these videos onto both Moodle and Microsoft Teams."
- Student Quote – AHEAD Learning from Home 2021 Research Participant
For learners, particularly those with disabilities, accessibility to learning environments and learning materials is central to their empowerment and their ability to engage in the learning process and reach their full potential. Failure to provide this accessibility creates barriers to inclusion, with consequences not only on the ability to learn but also on learners’ physical and mental wellbeing. Additionally, the Web Accessibility Directive (click for info) now places more legal responsibility on further and higher education providers to embed digital accessibility in their platforms and practices.
This conference theme explores research, initiatives and approaches to ensuring equal access for all students to learning opportunities and that contribute to a healthy, positive and fully rounded tertiary education experience for all learners.
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Writing Good Alternative Text (Live Only)
- Alistair McNaught, Alistair McNaught Consultancy Ltd
Alistair McNaught Alistair McNaught Consultancy Ltd
Alistair taught in further education for 20 years. His passion for giving students options, responsibility and independence led to the early adoption of e-learning across a large 6th form department. He moved into a national role with Becta in 2000 and in 2004 was appointed as a Senior Advisor for the Jisc TechDis service, advising the post-16 sector in using technology to support disabled students. Since 2000, he has supported every flavour of post-16 education from work-based learning to universities, offender learning to FE and adult community learning. He left Jisc in 2019 to work as an independent consultant.
Student Project on the wheelchair accessibility of university buildings
- Ellen van Veen, Dutch Expert Centre on Inclusive Education (ECIO)
Ellen van Veen Dutch Expert Centre on Inclusive Education (ECIO)
Ellen van Veen works as a consultant at the Expert Centre on Inclusive Education (ECIO) in the Netherlands. She supports Dutch higher education institutions in their development towards inclusive education. Her projects are related to the implementation of the UN convention, UDL, accessible examination and student participation.
Renate Bosman Universiteit Utrecht
Renate Bosman, student Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. She is a board member of studying without limitations, a peer-to-peer student organisation for and by students with a disability. She coordinates the buddy programme for students with a disability, but also helped with conducting the wheelchair accessibility project at the university.
Denise Langreder Universiteit Utrecht
Denise Langreder studies Veterinary Medicine. She is also a member of studying without limitations, in which she has been involved since the foundation of this organization. She has helped with several projects and often shares her own experiences of studying with a disability.
TCDSense – The Trinity Sensory Processing Project
- Kieran Lewis, Senior Occupational Therapist, Trinity College Dublin
Kieran Lewis Senior Occupational Therapist, Trinity College Dublin
Kieran is a Senior Occupational Therapist within the Disability Service in Trinity College Dublin and for the last two years has been a project officer within the Genio Funded project, Career Pathways. Kieran is also the lead on phase three activities within the Disability Service strategic plan, which focus upon the student’s transition to employment. Kieran holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and is currently undertaking PhD Research into the development and efficacy of an occupation-focused self-management programme.
Jessica Doyle Trinity College Dublin
Jessica K is Autistic, an international researcher passionate about engaging in investigations on sensory perception. Jessica K has attained an honours B.A. in psychology. Jessica K works as a Project Officer at TCD Sense, an Assistant Psychologist at the Adult Autism Practice, A Director of Thriving Autistic and an Autism Consultant.
Declan Treanor Director Disability Service, Trinity College Dublin; Chair of DAWN
Declan has been working in Trinity since the Disability Service was set up in June 2000. He has responsibility for ensuring that the College embeds disability related issues into the core of all thinking and delivery to ensure that the College environment is as accessible to people with disabilities as possible. Declan has an extensive educational history which includes a B Sc. in Science for NUI Galway, a Master’s in Social Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Trinity College Dublin. Declan is the Disability Officer for staff in College and for students who are D/deaf and Students with Autism Spectrum and Asperger’s Syndrome. Declan completed the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Generic (ADOS-G), a direct observational assessment used to assist in the diagnosis of autism, and the Advanced Postgraduate Certificate in Autistic Spectrum Disorder at Queen’s University Belfast.
Inclusion in the DNA of CHARM-EU - strategies for inclusion of universities in the 21st century
- Agnes Sarolta Fazekas, EÃ¶tvÃ¶s LorÃ¡nd University BÃ¡rczi GusztÃ¡v Faculty of Special Needs, Budapest, Hungary
Agnes Sarolta Fazekas Eötvös Loránd University Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs, Budapest, Hungary
Agnes Sarolta Fazekas (she/her) is Assistant Professor at Eötvös Loránd University Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs, Budapest, Hungary. Since 2019, Agnes has been leading the Inclusiveness Work Package of the CHARM-EU Alliance (https://www.charm-eu.eu/). She has also works as a programming team member and trainer with the Council of Europe Youth Department since 2014.
Derina Johnson Trinity College Dublin
Derina Johnson is project manager of the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project within the Equality Diversity and Inclusive Office, Trinity College Dublin. She is a team member of Work Package 6 Inclusiveness of the CHARM-EU Alliance. Her background lies in Psychology and Psychotherapy, and she holds a PhD from the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Her PhD explored the lives of young migrants and refugees growing up in extreme marginalisation and lack of legal documentation on the Thailand-Myanmar border, where Derina worked for a number of years.
Blended learning – a new learning path for young people with intellectual disability
- Imelda Fitzpatrick, Blossom Ireland
Imelda Fitzpatrick Blossom Ireland
Imelda Fitzpatrick is the Programme Director with Blossom Ireland, an educational service for young people with an intellectual disability. She has spent the past eighteen years working in the area of behavioural psychology and education. Imelda is passionate about equal opportunity in education for neurodivergent young people and inclusive educational practices. She also the proud mum to a neurodivergent child her best educator yet.
Maja Trninic Blossom Ireland
Maja is an Educational Programme Coordinator with Blossom Ireland, where she works with young people with intellectual disabilities, supporting them in their path to independence and personal development. She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a background in the educational and disability sectors. She’s a passionate human rights advocate, bookworm, and nature lover.
Microsoft | Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education
- Cathal OâConnor, Microsoft Ireland and part-time PhD student in UCD
Cathal O’Connor Microsoft Ireland and part-time PhD student in UCD
Cathal O’Connor is a Principal Data Scientist with 15 years at Microsoft and 25+ years industry experience. Cathal earned an honours bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Trinity College Dublin, and a master's degree in business administration (MBA) from FAU. Cathal is currently pursuing a PhD part-time in inclusive learning using intelligent technologies at UCD under the supervision of Assistant Professor Dr. Anthony Cronin.
Panel of Irish FET/HE Projects - Democratising wellbeing and accessibility supports
- Trevor Boland, Dublin City University
Trevor Boland Dublin City University
Trevor Boland is an experienced Assistive Technology Officer working in Higher Education supporting Students with disabilities. He previously lectured in the Access programme for non-traditional students in TU Dublin.
Trevor was previously the Digital and eLearning Officer in AHEAD and has been involved in the National rollout of the UDL Badge with UCD and the Teaching and Learning Forum.
Angela Stewart Maynooth University
Angela Stewart is a Project Manager in National Learning Network. She is currently managing the Inclusive Learning Project, a HEA funded initiative in Maynooth University (MU). With her background in psychology, behaviour analysis and research, Angela has provided a range of research, training, and consultancy services to state bodies, private companies, and not-for-profit organisations. She has led on the design and development of various technical projects and models of service to support the participation of underrepresented groups in further education and training, higher education, and work.
Previously, Angela worked in several face-to-face, person-centered support services. This included Student Central in MU, where she provided psychology-led supports to students with a wide range of disabilities. Student Central is a specialist, face-to-face support service that uses psychological theory and practical techniques to assist students to overcome challenges they may face in maintaining wellbeing and developing their academic and social skills. Strand 1 of the Inclusive Learning Project is expanding existing Student Central supports, merging them with Assistive Technology supports, and turning them into digital learning resources that can be accessed by all MU students.
Leah Kane Maynooth University
Leah Kane is an Education Technologist working on the Inclusive Learning Project. Prior to working with National Learning Network and Maynooth University, Leah worked in Dublin City University's Ideas Lab in the National Institute for Digital Learning. She has worked across a broad range of disciplines, using her media skills to digitally enhance the learning experience for learners. Leah has a passion for education and inclusive design in e-learning. Leah has also previously worked and volunteered in DCU's Access service for many years during her time at university. Leah holds an MSc in Emerging Media and has a BA in English Literature and Media Studies from Dublin City University. Leah is currently pursuing a Higher Diploma in Interaction Design at DCU.
Treasa McGinley Donegal ETB
Treasa Mc Ginley has been the Professional Development & Technology Enhanced Coordinator in Donegal ETBs FET Service since October 2019, prior to that position, she worked in Donegal ETB's Literacy programme and Youthreach programme. Her background is in Psychology and recently she has developed a keen interest in educational technologies to enhance the teaching and learning experience for all students.
Dipankar Biswas Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board
Dipankar is an adult tutor working in the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. My organisation is part of the further education and training sector. His current role is that of learner support and active inclusion and involves supporting learners with physical and cognitive disabilities, learning difficulties, digital poverty and literacy and numeracy needs. His role also includes supporting tutors in technology enhanced learning methodology for better integration of digital learning. He has previously worked in Core skills dealing with adult basic education and family learning.
He is also a psychotherapist working with adults and adolescents suffering from mental health difficulties and challenging life circumstances.