UDderLy cLUeLess sometimes

Despite the fact that I have family members who have disabilities and I must therefore devise a variety of strategies to communicate and successfully interact with them, I know how bad I am about considering the needs of disabled students in my classes. To cut myself some slack, part of the problem is that I do not have an ongoing relationship with a class, so I usually only meet a group of students once. If the teacher does not make me aware of any issues, then I don’t think about UDL to be honest.

However, in the past when I have created instructional videos with Camtasia, I have added subtitles. Ironically however, I did not do that in the video I created for Module 7 — mainly because I used a different software and had a difficult time finding information on how to create closed captioning. And the research guides platform that we use at the library “provides alternative pages for screen readers and hidden skip-to-navigation links for patrons using adaptive technologies.” Yay!

Of course now I’m curious about the other technologies I use and am using in this class — WordPress and Cascade (the Emory website system) specifically.

This week’s readings are a good reminder to me to be aware of these issues and to make the instructional content I create as accessible as possible. I really liked the CAST website with the link to the teacher-friendly examples and resources (lots of potential technologies out there to assist you).


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  1. Erin, I appreciate your post. I also find it challenging to address special needs in the classroom and with the newness of online teaching this was not something I was considering as I should. But, I will now focus on accessibility for all students. Thank you for pointing out the CAST examples and resources (I missed that in my review). It has been great working with you. Looking forward to meeting you f2f in September! Kristy

  2. Erin, With family members who are disabled, has that impacted your perspective to this conversation? Why do you think it hasn’t been on your radar other than not having an ongoing class?

    David K.

  3. Thank you both for your replies. Kristy I too found the examples linked to from CAST really useful as I like to see practical applications of ideas and theories. Working with you and David was great!

    David, besides not having an ongoing class, I think the other reason this hasn’t been on my radar despite having disabled individuals in my family is the fact that the issue of not being able to use technology (a computer) has only recently become an issue.

  4. Hi Erin,
    I love that link with the Checkpoints for UDL! Reminds me of the course rubrics — I suppose we can create a course rubric that incorporates those checkpoints.
    The software you referred to that provides the alternative text form is what we need! Can you provide more info on that?

    1. Hey Peggy, glad you found that link useful. I was referring to the LibGuides platform created by Springshare that we use at the library to create our Research guides.

      This page tells you about Libguides features: http://www.springshare.com/libguides/features.html

      And here’s the Woodruff Library Libguides by subject.

      Look forward to meeting you F2F in September!

  5. Erin, you’ve reminded me of several fundamentals of good teaching: (1) Pay attention to who is in the classroom before asking them to pay attention to the material. The material may not be what engages these particular people, nor would the way it is presented be engaging. If I notice – or if it is revealed to me – that certain students have particular disabilities, then I can begin to re-imagine the course content, pedagogy, etc. (2) I am not the only problem solver. Students with disabilities or students with different ways of learning can become my teacher about these matters, and the class as a learning community has lots to learn from one another so that it’s not just about how the instructor changes things to be more accommodating. (3) In my best moments as a teacher I cultivate authentic relationships with students. That’s harder to do in a classroom with 150 students than in a small seminar, but being accessible as a human being to students is half the battle. Thanks for these good reminders. David

    1. Hi David,
      I’m glad to know I’ve reminded you of these things — but I’m grateful that you spelled these fundamentals out so clearly and eloquently (as usual!) in your reply. I’ve learned so much from you and from all my classmates in this course. I hope we get to meet in Sept. Cheers!

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