4 Keys to Building a New Beginning for Schools and Workplaces

Accessibility Is More Than Getting in the Door

  • Universal internet access (since this is how most learning and information sharing occurs in today’s world)
  • Digital materials that are designed to be accessible
  • Assistive technology supports for individuals, as needed

Putting Universal Design Into Practice

  1. Provide multiple means for engagement: Share opportunities for employees to work on projects that interest them and match their strengths, while also clearly stating the end objective.
  2. Represent information in multiple formats: Provide information in text, audio, and video, so people can access it whichever way is most accessible to them.
  3. Allow multiple means of expressing knowledge: Give different ways for others to present information, be it an oral presentation, a written report, or other means.
  • Help when people are in a noisy environment, such as when multiple individuals are working from home at the same time.
  • Help people stay focused or better understand what was said.
  • Supplement live transcription services that can also be used to transcribe meetings.
  • Allows people to watch when they’re able and rewind or pause as needed.
  • Allows equal access to information for those who were absent or who have a hard time keeping up.
  • More people’s voices to be heard simultaneously.
  • New contributing voices, such as those of people with anxiety, who are more likely to contribute in writing rather than speaking up in a large meeting.

Strategy Instruction and Development

  • Scheduling regular check-ins.
  • Checking for understanding.
  • Helping with goal-setting.
  • Reflecting on strategies that have worked, as well as new strategies to try.
  • Asking: “What can I do to help you thrive?”

Flexibility, Adaptability, and Empathy

Knowing the challenges and motivations that others are experiencing can help us be empathetic because we understand them better. And this heightened empathy makes us more apt to adapt and be flexible enough to meet their needs.

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