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Tales of Teaching Online: Episode 50

11 July 2022

Digital equity and what it means for higher education

In episode 50 of the Tales of Teaching Online podcast Joan Sutherland speaks to Darren Britten about digital equity and how you can shape its impact in higher education.

Accessibility and inclusion are two core principles of inclusive design. Accessibility refers to the ability to provide access to everyone, whereas inclusion refers to providing the opportunity to participate to students from diverse backgrounds and with unique needs. These terms are often used interchangeably, although they are distinctly different. Darren uses the term digital equity to explain the principles that he uses to give students access to digital spaces.

It’s important to ensure you are as accessible and inclusive as possible. Darren highlights how you can get some quick wins, like by doing something as simple as using heading styles in a Microsoft Word document or within a website. Heading styles allow screen reader technology to identify the proper order of content on a page, as well as improving in-page navigation.

There are many resources that can be helpful to get started:

  1. Disability Awareness website: find eLearning programs on University for Design Learning (UDL) and a variety of accessibility issues.
  2. Guidelines for Online Access for Tertiary Students who are Blind or Vision Impaired.
  3. Guidelines for Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Online.
  4. Let’s Get Accessible: hear directly from students with interviews on disability, accessibility and studying at Deakin.
  5. ADCET Assist: this is a bookable one-on-one and small group online session with Darren for educators and disability support staff in the tertiary sector. Darren will assist with any questions relating to accessibility, teaching and assistive technology.

To hear more about what you can do to improve digital equity, listen to episode 50 now.



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