Archive for the ‘Disability Services info’ Category

Universal Design in Tertiary Education

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Universal Design for Learning in Tertiary Education

Dr Erin Leif

How I Use the Principles of UDL in Online Tertiary Education

By Dr Erin Leif, Senior Lecturer at Monash University

My teaching is underpinned by the notion that optimal learning outcomes can be achieved when students are:

  • (a) provided with a clear unit structure and learning objectives,
  • (b) given frequent opportunities to actively respond,
  • (c) provided with frequent feedback, and
  • (d) assessed on practical skills that mimic the activities commonly performed by professionals working in the field.

To achieve this, I have adopted the Universal Design for Learning Framework (UDL) to guide the design and delivery of my online units.

The graphic below illustrates my iterative process of unit design and delivery:

iterative process of unit design and delivery

Asynchronous Online Interactive Lessons

When designing online activities, I provide students with a set of asynchronous online interactive lessons that are directly aligned to the weekly learning objectives.

Lessons consist of a series of video recorded lectures interspersed with active learning activities designed to meet the learning objectives and provide multiple representations of concepts, including:

  • Text descriptions of a concept
  • Mini video lectures to supplement the readings or provide real world examples
  • Video bytes (which are typically short clips illustrating various concepts in action)
  • Links to websites, blogs, or podcasts, where students can find out more
  • Images or graphics illustrating key concepts
  • Interactive formative knowledge checks (e.g., multi-choice, true/false, matching, fill-ins, drag and drop text, etc.), which provide immediate embedded feedback for correct and incorrect responses
  • Post-class timed quizzes, designed to build fluency with basic concepts and principles
  • Moderated post-class discussion forums, which allow students to apply what they have learnt to a case scenario, ethical challenge, or professional practice question

I collect data on student engagement and evidence of learning early and often throughout the delivery of the unit (formative assessment).

This includes:

  • Weekly synchronous tutorials, in which we use polling and group discussion to provide students with the opportunity to actively respond and the teaching team with the opportunity to (a) gauge student understanding of the material and (b) present additional instruction if needed
  • Post-class discussion forums, which (a) allow the teaching team to gauge understanding in students who may not have otherwise indicated that they were confused, (b) gives students the opportunity to teach material to each other, which requires that they define, synthesise, and relate the material that is being discussed, and (c) gives students the opportunity to prepare for the assessment tasks
  • Moodle analytics and completion settings on Moodle.
  • We teach students how to use their Moodle ‘progress trackers’ to self-monitor their completion of the online learning activities on Moodle. We review the progress trackers at specific points throughout the semester, and check in on students who appear to be falling behind or who are not showing evidence of active engagement with the unit content

My approach embraces the diversity of learners by providing students with clear and measurable learning objectives, flexible methods of engagement and assessment, and accessible learning materials and technologies.

Through my use of the UDL framework, I can model a variety of inclusive, evidence-based instructional strategies to my students, which students can then replicate and adapt for use in their own professional practice.

The Neurodiversity Hub

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Neurodiversity Hub Resources

Although there is broad diversity across the population, some individuals have neurological variations that make it particularly challenging for their communication, self-expression and interactions with others.

Neurodiversity is a broad umbrella and is not just autism.

Neurological variations can include autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and tics. (However, Judy Singer, who coined the term, proposes that we are ALL neurodiverse because no two humans on the planet are exactly the same.)

The environments within which individuals with these neuro-variations learn, work and live can either facilitate or inhibit their growth and development.

A Community of Practice to Support Neurodivergent Young Adults

The purpose of this initiative is to create environments that will maximally facilitate these individuals to grow and achieve their full potential.

It is about facilitating a community of practice for universities, colleges, employers and service providers to work together to create these environments and opportunities for neurodivergent young adults.

The Resources section includes a vast array of resources that have been created or curated for use by neurodivergent students, their parents and carers, employers and universities.

Click on this link to explore the hub

Free Online Training

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Community Training Now Available!

The Australian Centre for Disability Law has started free online Learning Together community training.

This training is for students with disability, families of students with disability and advocates who assist students with disability.

Online training is now available for students with disability, their families and advocates.

The training will be practical and interactive, and it will focus on:

  • Your rights
  • How to build a good relationship your school or education provider
  • Communication tips
  • How to deal with issues if they arise.

Register Now!

9 September |  10:00am to 11:30am
16 September  |  9:30am to 11:00am
7 October  |  1:00pm to 2:30pm
18 October  |  11:00am to 12:30pm

What is This Project All About?

ACDL has been funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) through their Information Linkages & Capacity Building (ILC) programme to make it easier for students with disability to stay in mainstream education and reach their full potential.

They have created a detailed toolkit so that students and families can understand their rights, and advocate more effectively for reasonable adjustments.

  • Please see the following link to register today –
  • Any questions, please contact Laura –

Diversity and Inclusion Week 2021

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

Diversity and Inclusion Week – Register For Events Now!

Underpinned by the Diversity and Inclusion Framework, the week celebrates our diverse community and strengthens our inclusive culture.

It’s about helping to create an environment of involvement, respect and connection through sharing and learning from one another.

Looking for Something Different to Do During Your Lunchtime?

There are online events running everyday at lunchtime (12 – 2pm) during Diversity and Inclusion Week 13–17 September.

  • Monday – Understanding Intersectionality in the Learning Environment
  • Tuesday – Spring Celebrations Across Cultures
  • Wednesday – *Autism: A Personal Perspective, and Beyond Braille: Inclusive Tech for a Fairer World
  • Thursday – Mentoring and Mental Health: Opening the Conversation, and *Understanding Autism
  • Friday – Super Women

*Events hosted by Disability Support Services

Visit the Diversity and Inclusion Week website to find out more and to register for over 50 upcoming events.

There’s something for everyone so make sure not to miss out!

AND Launches ICT Tender Tool

Monday, July 12th, 2021

AND’s Accessible Procurement Taskforce launches the ‘ICT Tender Tool’

At AND’s Annual National Conference: Igniting Innovation through Inclusion, the AND-established Accessible Procurement Taskforce launched the ICT Tender Tool.

What is the ICT Tender Tool?

The ICT Tender Tool supports organisations to procure accessible and inclusive Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The ICT tool can also be used to evaluate and determine the accessibility of ICT resources.

“The tool clearly articulates what accessible goods and services look like,” says Matt Hawkins, ANZ, Chair of the Accessible Procurement Taskforce. “Secondly, it provides responses that are easy for evaluation teams to score.”

APPLY for Workability Speakers Bank

Monday, March 15th, 2021

Share your story (*PAID opportunity!)

The Workability Project is looking for students with disability interested in participating in a paid interview to talk about their ability and Post-school pathways for Workability Series on Vimeo and in-person speaking opportunities at schools to students and staff.

To apply, you must have a disability or live with ‘diverseability’.

  • Aged 16 years or older
  • Have experience in employment or running their own business
  • Available during school hours
  • Be able to attend One Day Training

Different ways to get involved:

  • Speaking to small groups of students with disabilities
  • Take part in a Video interview
  • Write your story for a newsletter or social media

 Share your experience with any of the following topics:

  • Work experience
  • TAFE/ University
  • Apprenticeships
  • How you talk about the ability
  • Rights at Work 

Want to get involved?

Apply Here

Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Online

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Guidelines – Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Online

ADCET and the NDCO program are excited to launch Guidelines – Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Online. This resource is a part of a COVID response project, funded by DESE.

Content includes the impacts and challenges of online learning and provides information around everything from using captions, speech to text technology and tips and tricks when teaching.

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic led to multiple challenges across all levels of education. Many of these challenges centred around the provision of accessible and inclusive online education for people with disability.

The guidelines were developed by Joe-Anne Kek-Pamenter who works at Griffith University and is Deaf herself. And the project was overseen by Cathy Easte, Bobby Blackson and Gary Kerridge.

Audio Descriptions for Online Video

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

When Does an Online Video Need Audio Description?

*From Australian Network on Disability

A video with audio description will have a separate audio track that describes what’s happening on screen for those who can’t see it. Key visual elements, such as actions, scenery, expressions and on-screen text, are described by the narrator to ensure people who are blind or have low vision don’t miss out on important visual information.

Think about it in the context of a promotional video on your website, an instructional video within an online learning course, or a live interview shared on social media. Do all of these need audio descriptions to be accessible?

From an online and technical point of view, the answer lies with the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C. Through its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) – the global standard for web accessibility – the W3C specifies three levels of conformance when it comes to audio description: Level A, Level AA and Level AAA. But unless you’re fairly well-versed in the Guidelines, deciding when audio description is needed can still be tricky.

Thankfully, Vision Australia has come up with three easy-to-follow decision trees to make it simpler….

*For more information, read the full article at Australian Network on Disability

Inclusive Evacuation Procedures

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

Evacuation Procedures for People with Disability

*From Australian Network on Disability

Being an inclusive employer means taking every employee’s needs into consideration when implementing Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) procedures. Procedures for fire and other emergencies should always include provisions for the evacuation of people with disability.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure all employees are aware of the evacuation procedures in the workplace. Here is what you need to consider in order to ensure your evacuation procedure is inclusive of people with disability.

Always keep in mind, the nature of each person’s disability is unique and the best way to prepare is to discuss and develop evacuation procedures with the individuals.

Evacuation considerations

Appropriate structures need to be put in place to ensure all employees can evacuate in an emergency.

To ensure safe evacuation, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) should be implemented for each individual with disability.

A PEEP is a practical measure to ensure appropriate, agreed actions are taken for the individual in an emergency. This customised document provides the framework for the planning and provision of emergency evacuation of a person with disability.

It is best practice to plan the assistance required (if any) well before any emergency occurs.

Essential steps

  • A fire warden should be nominated for each work area, for example per floor in an office building, or a section of a warehouse or factory.
  • A PEEP should be in place for any person with disability requiring assistance to evacuate in an emergency. The fire warden should be aware of any PEEPs in place for people with disability in their work area and have an understanding of the assistance that is required.
  • Fire warden to advise emergency personnel (for example, firefighters and police) of the location of people with reduced mobility in refuge areas.
  • Evacuation drills should be conducted regularly, including practice for evacuating people with disability.
  • Emergency exits should be clearly shown using illuminated exit signs.
  • Emergency and evacuation procedures should be clearly displayed on appropriate signage.

*For more information read the full article at Australian Network on Disability

Equity Scholarships at Monash

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

What Are Equity Scholarships?

Equity scholarships recognise groups experiencing disadvantage and the impact it can have on their educational progress. Monash awards equity scholarships to students who come from one or more of our defined equity or personal disadvantage groups:

  • Indigenous Australian descent
  • recent refugees
  • experiencing difficult circumstances
  • have a low income
  • from regional and remote areas
  • having a disability or long term medical condition
  • attended an under-represented school.

Go to this search page for a comprehensive list of Equity Scholarships for different faculties.

Merit and equity

Merit and equity scholarships help high achievers succeed despite disadvantage.

Monash offers many different types of coursework scholarships such as honours, postgraduate, sport, research and international scholarships.

Check out the information relevant to you:

Scholarships and Grants Available for 2019

All offers are subject to scholarship terms and conditions and require you to meet eligibility criteria and enrol in a relevant course at a Monash University campus in Australia.

Graduate Research Scholarships

For Graduate Research Scholarships (including Monash Equity Scholarship) see this web page .

Monash Support Scholarships

Monash Support Scholarships are provided to current and commencing students whose educational achievements may have been masked by their personal circumstances. The scholarship is awarded based on need – there is no specific ATAR requirement.

You may be eligible if you are a low income earner and intending to study an undergraduate or graduate degree at Monash. Find out more at this web page.