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Thursday, October 21 • 4:00pm - 4:25pm
Utilizing OER in Conjunction with Universal Design Principles to Support Students with Disabilities

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Students with disabilities make up one of the largest subgroups in college campuses. While visible disabilities are easier to identify, most students with disabilities must overcome challenges related to attention (ADHD), language-based learning disabilities (dyslexia and dyscalculia), or anxiety disorders in an educational setting among others. The development and use of universal design practices can aid in the creation of accessible classrooms to accommodate this population.

Additionally, the use of open educational resources can complement the pedagogical efforts of universal design for learning (UDL). At their core, OER and UDL value accessibility, a key characteristic when working with students with disabilities. This session will reflect on the core principles of UDL, taking into consideration the challenges faced by this student population and the benefits OER can have in the development of fully accessible classrooms.

The presentation will address three key areas. First, it will identify traditional barriers to education students with disabilities experience. While this session will focus on post-secondary education, relevant connections can be made at all levels. Second, a standard overview of UDL principles will help establish the purpose and benefits behind this movement and how they can aid in the creation of curriculum. Lastly, highlighting the use of OER to supplement UDL standards will exemplify a variety of possibilities in the development of materials and methods of instruction. This last point assists in evaluating effective and accessible modes of instruction to support the work with students, whether they have a disability or not.

With the use of real-life scenarios, the presentation will exemplify how UDL principles and the use of OER materials can assist in the creation of accessible environments, detailing how specific efforts help accommodate students with disabilities. Establishing such connections will present student success at the forefront of these labors.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • The audience will examine and understand different barriers students with disabilities experience
  • The audience will understand the core principles of universal design
  • The audience will be exposed to different instances of OER use in the classroom to accommodate various learning styles and differences
  • The audience will engage with different pedagogical approaches aimed at developing accessible classrooms and support students with disabilities

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Nico Diaz

Academic Development and Recovery Advisor, Boise State University
I'm an academic advisor, focusing on academic recovery and development. I'm also an adjunct instructor. I'm fairly new to the world of OER, but passionate about the movement. I'm interested in the connection between OER and universal design in development of courses.

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Thursday October 21, 2021 4:00pm - 4:25pm EDT
Room A