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Live Parallel 1: Workshop

Embracing equity in a public health emergency: the role of UDL in guiding instructors as they adapt to an unprecedented reliance on online and hybrid teaching.

Duration: 1 Hour Workshop

Note: This workshop will not be recorded

The post-secondary sector through 2020 has been confronted with unprecedented pressures. Across the world, HE has had to perform an overnight pivot to online and hybrid teaching in the face of an international public health crisis. There have been many challenges in this process of rushed transformation, and unfortunately equity and human rights have not been top considerations. Even in jurisdictions where there is solid legislation to protect the rights of diverse students - particularly the rights of students with disabilities - the public health crisis has led educational leaders to argue "undue hardship" to set aside decades of policies related to inclusion and accessibility. Suddenly, ensuring inclusive learning for all is no longer the golden standard. While there has been an abundance of resources to support the technical dimensions of the "pivot", little of this has remained focused on accessibility standards or best practices for Inclusion.


This has set the stage for a phenomenal spotlight being placed on UDL. As instructors continue to battle with the online pivot and seek to adapt to what may be several more semesters of emergency practices, they seek user-friendly and time-efficient tips to continue focusing in equity and inclusion as they adopt, create, or consider new classroom strategies for these unprecedented times.


The presentation will explore many of the concerns which have been expressed by individual practitioners, or the field as a whole, with regards to inclusion and equity through the first phase of the COVID crisis. This will be carried out by means of an exploration of educational media, practitioner forums, and professional blogs. The session will examine the various ways UDL is currently standing out as a unique lens to support instructors when it comes to ensuring they are able to remain fully inclusive as they battle these extremely difficult and unprecedented circumstances. 

 

Dr Frederic Fovet

Associate Professor, School of Education and Technology, Royal Roads University

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This article appeared in the AHEAD website. Visit www.ahead.ie for more information