TAFE SA recognised for its action on accessibility in online learning space

May 31, 2022

TAFE SA received an Accessibility in Action award from ADCET via a virtual presentation.

TAFE SA’s Teaching and Learning Team has been recognised with a national award for their work in making online learning more accessible and usable for students.

The team has received an Accessibility in Action Award, presented by the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) for a person, team or project that “actively improves accessibility for students and staff”.

ADCET celebrated ‘Accessibility in Action’ across the Australian tertiary sector as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2022 on Thursday, 19 May.

In addition to receiving the award, Jen Cousins and Marika Leopold from the Teaching and Learning Team were able to share the team’s story at a virtual event - Celebrating Accessibility in Action - on Wednesday, 18 May.

Jen Cousins said the rapid transition to online learning in response to the pandemic had been challenging and exhilarating.

“It presented an opportunity to catapult our vision for digitally enabled accessible learning and assessment approaches,” she said.

However, she said, it wasn’t long before students with and without disability were finding that the online learning wasn't accessible, usable or designed to meet their needs any better than face-to-face options.

TAFE SA’s Teaching and Learning Team responded with a range of measures to improve accessibility, including tools and resources for educators to enhance their online content.

Marika Leopold: “We fashioned a motto to support our approach – Fix, Flag, Future. Fix what you can now, flag what to fix soon, and identify what to address in the future.

“We’ve created a shared language across the organisation, emphasising accessibility as a critical element of inclusive education and a pillar of educational design.”

The Teaching and Learning team encourages the use of Blackboard Ally, Microsoft Learning Tools, and Microsoft Accessibility Checker.

TAFE SA educators have access to a newly developed Digital Tool Kit, Learning Design Planner and Resources Style Guide to ensure accessibility is factored into the course design process.

TAFE SA also has Digital Teaching & Learning Standards which support these accessible and inclusive practices.