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CDS Offers Seminar Course on Disability and Diversity Studies

Seminar on Disability Issues: Access to Higher Education for Students with Disabilities: Accommodations and Universal Design

An online (asynchronous) 3 credit course, INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler

Spring 2015 (Jan. 12-May 15, 2015)

Course offered through Outreach College Extension

DIS 687 (432) CRN: 3101

Course Description: This asynchronous online course covers history, definitions, attitudes, approaches to access, and legal issues worldwide regarding the intersection between disability and higher education. It compares and contrasts accommodation and universal design approaches to access with respect to specific practices, the roles of stakeholders, and the beneficiaries when these practices are applied to instruction, technology, physical spaces and student services. It explores research-based and promising practices for preparing students with disabilities for success and for making postsecondary and educational products and environments welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by all students with a variety of characteristics that include those related to gender, race, ethnicity, culture, first language, age, learning style, ability, and disability.

Instructor: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph. D. Dr. Burgstahler is the founder and director of the DO-IT Center which promotes the success of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers, using technology as an empowering tool and the UW Access Technology Center at the University of Washington. She is currently has projects that include AccessSTEM, AccessDL, AcessComputing, RDE Collaborative Dissemination, and the Center for Universal Design in Education.

Target Audience: The audience for this graduate-level course includes instructors, administrators and other practitioners working in, expecting to work in, or interested in the study of postsecondary educational settings. It is expected that students in the course will be able to use standard applications software but will not necessarily have a high level of technical expertise.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • describe at least four ways that students on postsecondary campuses represent a diverse group and at least two challenges each group faces in pursuing higher education.
  • share some of the experiences, challenges, and perspectives of people with disabilities and reflect on how they may impact participation in higher education.
  • discuss historical and current international and US views regarding the civil rights of people with disabilities and related international efforts and US legislation; give examples of the basic issues presented in accessibility-related complaints and resolutions in the US.
  • state the definitions and provide examples of “accommodations” and “universal designs;” compare with similar concepts, including “design for all,” barrier-free design,” “accessible design,” and “inclusive design.“
  • describe the principles, processes, and examples of universal design in higher education settings with respect to instruction, technology, student services, and physical spaces and describe beneficiaries of this approach.
  • give examples of access barriers and related solutions for individuals with specific types of disabilities enrolled in on-site and online courses.
  • describe how individuals with different types of disabilities—including mobility impairments, sensory impairments, and learning disabilities—use technology to interact with educational technology, engage with online tools, and access resources in higher education.
  • discuss how websites, online documents, applications software, and other information technology can be designed to be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technology.
  • give an example of how disability/accessibility topics can be integrated into the content of a postsecondary course.
  • design an on-site and online lesson that is welcoming and accessible to all potential students, including those who have disabilities, are English language learners, have different learning styles and preferences, have a variety of technical expertise, and have other diverse characteristics.