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Institutional perspective

Ben Watson talking about the importance of raising awareness regarding inclusion across an institution.
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BEN WATSON: I’m Ben Watson. I’m the Accessible Information Project Advisor at the University of Kent. And we’re engaged in a project raising awareness of inclusive information design in learning and teaching. Well, I think the biggest thing is about people’s awareness.
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The single biggest thing I think, an organisation can do is make its people aware of some of those barriers, and some of the really practical small steps that they can take to adjust their own practice in very small ways to have some big, cumulative benefits across the institution. So it’s about people understanding what it is that they could do to make mainstream adjustments to negate, cancel out, the barriers that most frequently recur. I don’t think it’s possible to anticipate absolutely everything. But there are certain things we know are going to be frequently experienced by a number of people. And if we just dealt with them at source by universal design, we wouldn’t be doing anything retrospectively.
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And we would actually be future-proofing a lot of our content for people well in advance. And we wouldn’t even, in some cases, need to ask if they had additional requirements.
In this video, Ben Watson, the Accessible Information Project Adviser at the University of Kent, talks about the importance of raising awareness regarding inclusion.
Ben also makes the comment that small steps towards inclusion can have an accumulative effect. The University of Kent Inclusive Practices include six steps:
  1. Maximise electronic resources.
  2. Make documents easy to navigate and understand.
  3. Make presentations meaningful.
  4. Provide alternative media but make it accessible.
  5. Make assessments accessible.
  6. Promote productivity tools (assistive technologies) to everyone.
You may also find the University of Plymouth’s guide to Creating an inclusive learning environment useful and how the US National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) developed 9 steps to address accessibility at an institution.
© This work is created by the University of Southampton and licensed under CC-BY 4.0 International Licence. Erasmus + MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership.
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