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Policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching and Learning: an update

Inclusive Practice in Teaching & Learning policy

The Policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching and Learning was launched in January 2018 to provide greater clarity and emphasis to our commitment to an inclusive approach to teaching and learning, as set out in the Curriculum Framework and Teaching & Learning Strategy.

An Implementation Group, chaired by Professor Clare Furneaux, is working to help embed the new Policy across the University. To support this a number of sub-groups have been set up.

Our legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled learners requires that we anticipate likely needs and take positive steps to remove potential barriers to learning.

Advice for staff on creating accessible teaching and learning materials is available on the Engaging Everyone webpages. There is also a Top Tips guide which gives practical advice on creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word.

Professor Richard Mitchell and Dr Laura Bennett recently wrote a blog post on Making Word and PowerPoint accessible. This gives useful information on creating accessible Word and PowerPoint documents and they note that, whilst finding that doing this is “reasonably straightforward”, it does take time, especially at first. This blog post also describes how to use the accessibility checker built in to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to check your documents.  The forthcoming Blackboard ‘Ally’ pilot will give another way of checking the accessibility of documents and also automatically providing alternative versions.

In addition, there are a number of resources available for students. Matthew Holtby (Library Disability Coordinator) has put together an excellent guide to finding inclusive technology to support your learning and information on the new policy is included on Essentials

Looking ahead to forthcoming developments, we are currently working to:

  1. Review the University corporate Word and PowerPoint templates to improve accessibility.
  2. Review the accessibility of the University's website as part of the Retiring Activedition project.
  3. Launch a pilot of Blackboard ‘Ally’ for the 2018/19 academic year to provide staff with additional resources to check the accessibility of documents and also to automatically provide versions in alternative formats.
  4. Hold an Accessibility Event on 12 July 2018, organised by the TEL team, to raise awareness of the Policy and offer practical sessions for staff

We will keep staff updated with these developments as they progress. If you have any feedback please speak to your School Disability Rep or to the Disability Advisory Service.

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