Exclusion to Inclusion

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A presentation to the Surf Foundation and Handicappe de Studie in Utrecht

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  • A little bit about myself, I have a background in the communications industry, environmental sciences and educational technology. I’ll talk about my role in disability and education shortly, but first a little about my current role. I manage a programme for the JISC, Joint Information Services Committee. JISC's activities support education and research by promoting innovation in new technologies and by the central support of ICT services. JISC provides: A world-class network - JANET Access to electronic resources New environments for learning, teaching and research Guidance on institutional change Advisory and consultancy services My current role is to manage a programme which is looking at new and emergent technologies and their role in learning, teaching and research.
  • Exclusion to Inclusion

    1. 1. Exclusion to Inclusion: The UK experience of accessibility Joint Information Systems Committee Lawrie Phipps JISC Programme Manager Users and Innovation [email_address]
    2. 2. About this presentation <ul><li>Defining accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>The history of the UK’s route to accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>The JISC response to the need for the supporting of disabled students </li></ul><ul><li>The reaction to legislation </li></ul><ul><li>The evolution of an approach to accessibility in e-learning </li></ul><ul><li>What we learnt, what were our mistakes, what would we do different </li></ul>
    3. 3. What do mean by accessibility <ul><li>Accessibility is about removing barriers to participation </li></ul><ul><li>However, beware of a “one size fits all” approach </li></ul>
    4. 4. Timeline <ul><li>1995: The Disability Discrimination Act </li></ul><ul><li>covers the rights of disabled people in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goods and Services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education was not included in the original legislation </li></ul>
    5. 5. Post 1995 <ul><li>The introduction of the Disability Rights Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;A society where all disabled people can participate fully as equal citizens&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The introduction of the Human Rights Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which guarantees education for all </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The issue of access to education for disabled people had to be addressed. </li></ul><ul><li>The result was the introduction of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001) </li></ul>
    6. 6. The legislation - some key elements Less Favourable Treatment
    7. 7. The legislation - some key elements Reasonable Adjustment
    8. 8. The legislation - some key elements Anticipation
    9. 9. JISC and Disability <ul><li>2001, JISC creates a service to advise colleges and universities on how to support students on issues of technology and disability </li></ul><ul><li>TechDis </li></ul>
    10. 10. TechDis <ul><li>TechDis </li></ul><ul><li>www.techdis.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Covers the UK in all post 16 education </li></ul>
    11. 11. So what happened next…
    12. 12. An unfortunate meeting <ul><li>2002 </li></ul><ul><li>TechDis meet with several disability ‘lobby/pressure’ groups </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all of them only deal with a single issue </li></ul>
    13. 13. The outcome of the meeting
    14. 14. Why was this a mistake? <ul><li>Legislation does not mention specific guidelines or standards. </li></ul><ul><li>UK legislation relies on interpretation, the spirit of the UK law should be the primary concern: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The principle behind the legislation is that disabled people should have the same opportunities as non-disabled people to benefit wherever possible from whatever education or other related provision is available. </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. The standards approach <ul><li>2001, 2002: We (me, TechDis other Advisory Bodies, UKOLN, CETIS etc) advised Universities and Colleges to use the W3C guidelines as a standard </li></ul><ul><li>(AA ‘compliance) </li></ul><ul><li>All major education bodies responded, strategically and operationally. </li></ul>
    16. 16. A reasonable question <ul><li>What was the best approach for the most students? </li></ul><ul><li>Why were pushing a ‘standard’ that served less than 1000 HE students? </li></ul><ul><li>Were we excluding some disabled people by the approach we recommended? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Exclusive approach! <ul><li>The recommendations we issued served most effectively ~ 1000 disabled HE students </li></ul><ul><li>They were not useful for more than 150,000 disabled students </li></ul>
    18. 18. Opening the debate <ul><li>Kelly B, Sloan D and Phipps L (2003) Ideology Or Pragmatism? Open Standards And Cultural Heritage Web Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Why should public libraries and museums only support wheelchair access or blind people </li></ul><ul><li>Should the Van Gough museum be closed because it is all visual media? </li></ul>
    19. 19. Articulating the standards problem <ul><li>Kelly, B., Phipps, L. and Swift, E (2004) Developing A Holistic Approach For E-Learning Accessibility , Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Stating the problems with existing standards </li></ul><ul><li>How do we build a digital resource for both blind and deaf? </li></ul><ul><li>And then for students who have special educational needs? </li></ul>
    20. 20. Challenging the establishment <ul><li>Kelly, B., Sloan, D., Phipps, L., Petrie, H. and Hamilton, F. (2005) Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity? A Framework for Applying the WCAG in the Real World </li></ul><ul><li>Was critical of the W3C approach </li></ul><ul><li>Received ‘letters’ in the press and personally </li></ul>
    21. 21. Suggesting a third way <ul><li>Kelly, B., Phipps, L. and Howell, C. (2005) Implementing A Holistic Approach To E-Learning Accessibility Paper published in the ALT-C 2005 Conference Proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>Recognises that accessibility is not black and white </li></ul><ul><li>Proposes a framework for supporting a diverse range of learners, including those with disability, of differing ethnicity, with religious commitments and ‘Normal’! </li></ul>
    22. 22. 2005 <ul><li>Building of a complete set of resources around good practice in learning </li></ul><ul><li>Not standards based </li></ul><ul><li>Example resources in word, excel, html, flash, Lego, PAPER! </li></ul><ul><li>Some examples </li></ul>
    23. 23. Doing it all again? <ul><li>What would I (we) do different? </li></ul>
    24. 24. Use the Community <ul><li>We had isolated groups of people that had no way of communicating </li></ul><ul><li>Let them build the capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Emerge </li></ul>
    25. 25. Engage with academia from the beginning <ul><li>Academics like academics </li></ul><ul><li>They are in their jobs because of the way they think, think on that level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write papers in their journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present at their conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask them to evidence their practice </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Listen to student voices <ul><li>Gather student data, let them record their experience, blog, podcast… </li></ul><ul><li>Do a weekly podcast with a student? </li></ul><ul><li>These voices, telling their experiences, are powerful. Use them with all levels, Government, Academia, Public. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Advocate for Staff <ul><li>Understand the pressure that academics are under and empathise </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t sympathise </li></ul><ul><li>I know how you feel, I felt the same way, what I found was… </li></ul><ul><li>Not, I know how you feel, it’s terrible but we have to do it… </li></ul>
    28. 28. Finally <ul><li>I would spend more time in Utrecht </li></ul>
    29. 29. Questions and thank you

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