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There is a lot of information available for those who want to know more about designing physical spaces in line with established accessibility guidelines. Walkways, communal spaces, classrooms, housing units, and other areas, should all be established in ways that allow full particpation of those with different needs. Standards such as the ADAAG provide guidance but end user feedback is also critical to understanding what makes a space usable for all.
When it is time to replace furniture, or remodel existing spaces, it is a great time to stop and think about the options before committing funds. Recommendations can be made through accessibility consultations. Sometimes just taking the time to have end users give you feedback, or taking a test drive of your space while seated in a wheelchair, can shed light on barriers you didn't even know were present. Literature racks, bulletin boards, as well as interaction surfaces in student areas, and tables and chairs in classrooms, or equipment in labs, all should support a wide range of body shapes and sizes.
There are as many variations in how courses are designed in colleges and universities as there are professors and instructors sharing expertise. Accessible course design is not about dictating the methods used, but rather, is about providing faculty with the technical assistance and troubleshooting expertise to design in such a way that maximizes the likelihood that a wide range of students will be able to compete fairly, learn, and demonstrate mastery. Accessible course design removes barriers before they are encountered so the need for accommodataion can be reduced.
Online information and services should be easy to use and intuitive to navigate. Evaluation measures can help to make sure current offerings are meeting end user needs and training is available for those who are responsible for building or maintaining online offerings.
Staff, faculty, and student employees should have equal opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways regardless of disability. The process of seeking reasonable adjustments on the basis of specific impairment should be clear and easy to follow. Professional development opportunities should be maximized to promote an understanding of accessibility across units.
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