While not always included at the table, disability is just another aspect of diversity and disability rights are human rights. This workshop will focus on supporting the rights of students with disabilities as they engage in the expanding landscape of digital education, from emails to online courses to web content and more. Learn from case studies and examples of what it is like for some students with print-related disabilities to access inaccessible materials and digital spaces that we may be creating unintentionally. More importantly, learn easy steps and gain resources to increase access and equity for all learners while also minimizing your institution’s risk of liability.
As a direct result of participating in this workshop, attendees will:
- Gain a better understanding of learners with disabilities.
- Be able to articulate the relationship between disability, diversity, and digital access.
- Understand the requirements for digital accessibility set by the Disability Discrimination Act and guidance from the Department of Education and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
- Leave with actionable tools they can apply directly to their work that will remove barriers to digital equity for students with disabilities and increase access for all.
Background and Evidence:
The Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 requires public and private organisations, like institutions of higher education, to provide reasonable accommodations that ensure equal access for employees and customers with disabilities and prohibits disability discrimination. While this has been applied to brick-and-mortar environments regarding physical accessibility – the same proactive access is needed in the digital and online environment. We must work to protect the rights of learners with disabilities and ensure true inclusion and equity for all.
Dr. Ann Knettler is the Vice President of Educational Leadership at AbleDocs, the world leader in digital accessibility. An accessibility strategist with over 16 years of experience in leadership positions overseeing disability resources, education, legal and human rights compliance, strategic planning, and digital accessibility, Ann is a sought-after speaker, educator, and consultant.
A published researcher, Ann currently sits on the Council of Representatives for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) where she has co-authored and updated policy and standards for the entire field of higher education. She regularly presents and consults globally on topics such as the depth and breadth of digital accessibility, disability rights, assessment and the use of data as an advocacy tool, disability policy and policy reform, strategic planning for organization-wide access, creating and using policy and accessibility standards, program review, ableism, and the social justice model of disability.