Accessibility & Inclusion

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In the denouement of the COVID-19 pandemic, talk of a return to “normalcy” in higher education belies the great challenges and ongoing disruptions that yet lie ahead for many institutions. Public perceptions of the value of postsecondary education continue their downward slide, placing institutions in the position of having to demonstrate their worth and find solutions to declining enrollments. Data and analytics capabilities continue to evolve, introducing new opportunities and new risks to the institution. Chief among these capabilities, generative AI promises to change teaching and learning in ways many of us have yet to fully understand or prepare for.

For this year’s teaching and learning Horizon Report, expert panelists’ discussions highlighted and wrestled with these present and looming challenges for higher education. This report summarizes the results of those discussions and serves as one vantage point on where our future may be headed.

Future proof your curriculum by embedding sustainability into your teaching practice or further integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into your curriculum. The SDG digital toolkit project will give you concise actionable resources to achieve this result while providing insights into the underpinning theories.

SDG Toolkit

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This publication collects the posters shared at the 2023 Learning and Teaching Showcase at University College Cork, 5 December 2023. The posters are grouped into five themes: student engagement, inclusive teaching, academic integrity, digital education and education for sustainable development.

This compendium captures examples of internationalisation of the home curriculum in TUS. It includes cases of internationalised modules; teaching and assessment practices that promote inclusive learning; collaborative learning and teaching projects involving international partners; and co-curricular intercultural competence initiatives.

All the ingredients for an instant inclusion resource for students in your VLE.
Itʼs already assembled so download it and edit for your own context.
1.Inclusive technology options in Google and Microsoft Tools and more.
2.Awareness of UDL and how technology gives us options regarding reading, writing and more.
3. Digital Accessibility Skills

The learner population in tertiary education is becoming increasingly diverse, and students’ lives are also increasingly complex. The responsibility on educational institutions to provide equitable access for all is now strongly embedded in Irish legislation, and national tertiary education strategies contain more specific goals to implement a Universal Design approach, (SOLAS, 2020; Higher Education Authority, 2022).

The aim is to move towards a system where ‘Inclusion is Everyone’s Business’, where all staff play their part in delivering an inclusive educational experience.

Universal Design, or UD for short, offers us an evidence-based approach to engender this mindset, and is increasingly seen as a central tenet of our response to rising diversity, (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, 2022). But how can we embed a UD approach in our institutions?

That’s where ALTITUDE – the National Charter for Universal Design in Tertiary Education – comes in to play.

Funded by the HEA under PATH 4, the ALTITUDE Project is an extensive cross sectoral collaboration involving six national agencies, fifteen higher education (HE) institutions and six Education and Training Board (ETB) representatives, nominated by Directors of FET to represent the Further Education and Training sector.

The vision of the project looks to a future in tertiary education where ‘all learners are transformatively included through universal design in education’, deriving the name ALTITUDE. It seeks to move us in that direction by supporting HEIs and ETBs to make sustainable progress towards systemically embedding a UD approach…. – one which places human diversity at the heart of tertiary education design, and fosters student success for all learners.

The ALTITUDE Charter, and the associated toolkit and technical report, build on significant existing work on UD in the Irish tertiary education landscape (Kelly & Padden, 2018), and through these outputs, provides a clear roadmap for institutions to make progress.

Drawing from national and international literature, the Charter recommends key strategic enablers, which institutions should put in place over time to support the sustainable implementation of UD, and proposes collaborative action to work towards goals under 4 key pillars of our institutions:

– Learning, Teaching & Assessment;
– Supports, Services & Social Engagement;
– the Physical Environment;
– and the Digital Environment