Approaches to Access: Design for Inclusion in Higher Education Classrooms
Wed, March 14th from 6:30-8:30 PM, Graduate Center, Room C198

How can we design our classrooms and courses to support students with diverse learning styles and abilities? The Museum Access Consortium and the Teaching and Learning Center will join forces to share the legal and educational frameworks that can help you to develop more inclusive teaching practices, and to facilitate a workshop for instructors in higher education settings to apply these frameworks to their own course materials.

Have you ever had a student with a disability in your class? Did you know where to go for accommodations? We will begin by surveying how the Americans with Disabilities Act affects us at CUNY, what types of services are available to students and instructors. We will focus, as well, on how to speak comfortably and respectfully about disability and accommodations with your students.

But accessibility is more than just providing specific accommodations or following the letter of the law. This workshop will also explore the principles of Universal Design for Learning, “an educational framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn,” according to its developers at the Center for Applied Special Technology. By thinking through the range of learning needs and preferences our students bring to the classroom, we will develop practices of mindfulness that will help us to teach all students.

How do we apply these theories to our own work? We will begin as a group by using these frameworks to assess a variety of interdisciplinary syllabi. We will look for barriers to access in the document itself, and troubleshoot small tweaks to the course design that could set it up to be accessible for all students. Then we will break into groups to think through a series of standard teaching practices including lectures, small group work, student presentations, and multi-media presentations to apply these same lessons and develop strategies to increase access in our own classrooms.’

To register for this workshop, please visit: