Extensions for Everyone: Syllabus Policies that Center Accessibility
AffiliationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MetadataShow full item record
CitationWong, Melissa A. “Extensions for Everyone: Syllabus Policies that Center Accessibility.” Critical Librarianship and Pedagogy Symposium. September 2020.
PublisherThe University of Arizona
DescriptionPresentation. Critical Librarianship & Pedagogy Symposium, September 1-17, 2020, The University of Arizona.
AbstractInstructors who embrace critical pedagogy work to create inclusive learning environments and dismantle barriers to education. Ironically, one such barrier can be the formal accommodations process that was created to ensure equitable access for student with disabilities (only a fraction of students with disabilities request needed accommodations). In order to better serve students with disabilities, many instructors have adopted Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and a proactive approach to accessible course design. Instructors implementing UDL often focus on the accessibility of course materials and using varied and inclusive pedagogical strategies. However, instructors may overlook the central role course policies play in accessibility. In fact, many common accommodations are a direct response to instructor policies. For example, instructors may be asked to grant an extension for a due date if a student experiences exacerbation of a chronic illness; however, this accommodation only exists as a standard accommodation because of instructors’ often inflexible policies around attendance and deadlines. In this talk, I identify course policies that create barriers for students with disabilities and show how instructors can adopt more flexible course policies that support inclusion and student success while decreasing the need for formal accommodations. Reference: Dolmage, Jay Timothy. Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2017.