Accessibility is a major consideration in the transition to remote teaching, since the various accommodations disabled students rely on to navigate standard classrooms and assignments will often suddenly no longer apply, and many new access challenges will appear in new formats. Students who learn well by listening but struggle with reading, for example, may find the transition from spoken class discussion to typed class discussion difficult, while others may have the opposite experience. Many students are still discovering what their real needs are in this chaotic time, and many, especially those with anxiety-related conditions, may find it difficult to ask for help. Universal Design means building accomodations into class designs in advance, for example offering multiple formats or alternate assignments as automatic parts of the syllabus (i.e. letting students choose to do assignment A or assignment B). Such planning helps students while also greatly reducing faculty workload, since ready-made alternatives are built into the syllabus, requiring less customization for each student's needs.
Accessibility in Remote Teaching
- Mapping Access Guide to Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19
- Before You Do Anything, Start Here: Best Practices for Accessibility in Online Education (AHA)