These inclusive practices are a simple but powerful way to make your teaching delivery more inclusive.
- They anticipate the needs of our learners
- They reduce the need for retrospective adjustments
- They benefit all students, not just those with disabilities
1. Offer digital learning resources
Choose digital resources over print when creating reading lists and recommending academic resources.
Why: e-resources can quickly and easily be converted into more accessible formats using software such as SensusAccess. In contrast, print material needs more work to make it accessible and can take days or sometimes weeks to convert.
Why: this helps with notetaking, especially for students with ILPs.
2. Share content in advance
Share reading lists online at least 4 weeks in advance. Clearly show the importance of readings, eg core (must read), recommended (should read) and background (could read).
Why: it helps those with reading difficulties to prioritise, supports slower readers and allows time to make alternative formats if needed.
Module outlines and lecture/seminar slides
Share digital versions of outlines and slides in a timely way:
- module outlines: 4 weeks before the module starts
- lecture/seminar slides: at least 24 hours before the session
Why: this particularly helps part-time, distance and commuting students and students with notetaking difficulties.
3. Make content easy to navigate
Give your documents, presentations and other media a clear structure and easy navigation.
- Make documents and presentations (including images and other media) accessible
- Use plain English
- Check the accessibility of your outputs.
Why: so that they are easy to read and can be understood by screen readers and other assistive technologies.
4. Make multimedia accessible
Give text alternatives for the key teaching points in images, tables, graphics, videos and audio.
- Images and tables: this can be an explanatory caption
- Video or audio: include a transcript. How to make accessible video. Automated captions are on by default for KentPlayer recordings.
Why: a text version, with searchable terms and correct spelling of complex names, is essential for students with visual impairments, deafness or hearing loss. It's also useful to reinforce the learning for everyone.
5. Make assignments accessible
When writing module specification documents, consider the different assessment types most frequently requested in the past and the rationales for using them.
Some students need extra time arrangements. Do the number, length and timing of assessments take this into account, such as time given for laboratory practical assessments or written tests?
Spelling, punctuation and grammar
Are spelling, punctuation, and grammar an appropriate part of the assessment criteria?
- If these are critical to the learning outcome this must be clearly stated in advance in the module specification.
- If not, make sure that your marking schemes allow exclusion of these criteria where this is needed as a reasonable adjustment for students with specific learning difficulties.
Why: to make sure you are assessing the student's knowledge, skill and understanding, not their disability.
6. Promote assistive technology
The University’s software finder lists tools which may help with learning, productivity and with unlocking educational content. Examples are text-to-speech, speech recognition or mindmapping software.
- Some of our students need assistive technology to enable them to access to curriculum content or assessments.
- Everyone can benefit from using software that can help you work in a different and more efficient way.
Why KIPS are mandatory
- To improve the learning experience for all students
- To reduce the need for retrospective adjustments
- To lessen the reliance on ILPs
- It's a legal requirement: the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations (2018) state our digital content needs to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard
- KIPs reinforce the measures for inclusive module design in the Code of Practice for Quality Assurance: ANNEX B: Approval and Withdrawal of Modules (Appendix A).