General Project Statement on Accessibility
This book was designed with accessibility in mind so that it can be accessed by the widest possible audience, including those who use assistive technologies. The web version of this book has been designed to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, level AA.
While we aim to ensure that this book is as accessible as possible, we may not always get it right. There may be some supplementary third-party materials, or content not created by the authors of this book, which are not fully accessible. This may include videos that do not have closed captioning or accurate closed captioning, inaccessible PDFs, etc.
If you are having problems accessing any content within the book, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know which page you are having difficulty with and include which browser, operating system, and assistive technology you are using.
Starting with Standard Access
We encourage the users of this Pressbook to start from the standard accessibility and accommodation text and policies in their institutions and to let us know where we could be doing better. For all of us, standard access and accommodation texts are an important starting point for critical discussion.
Our Access Principles
An ethos and set of practices have developed around accessibility, enacted and adapted by instructors and learners in the context of Disability Studies courses offered through both the School of Disability Studies, Toronto Metropolitan University and the Disability Studies Program at King’s University College at Western University.
In General Terms:
Access is collectively and interdependently created as students, guests, and faculty are invited to share what they need for an accessible learning environment As such, access is understood to be an interdependent practice that is created by all those who participate in a course.
Negotiation and flexibility are crucial to access and accommodation, as it is understood that our bodies and minds are dynamic and that what we may need in terms of access can change over time and with circumstance and context. Access check-ins are conducted regularly throughout a course.
Access is always intersectional. As part of our commitments to honour the recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we work to unsettle access and the course content. In conversations about access, we consider how access often privileges the white-settler colonial practice of seeking equal access to all spaces. This unsettling is a key component of disability studies but one that requires critical reflection.
Another way we acknowledge the intersectionality of access is through its generous framing. In a course on digital methods, we are aware that students are always making choices about digital access against other questions about the barriers to learning: ‘do you have enough to eat?’, ‘do you feel safe coming to campus?’, ‘do you have housing?’, ‘does campus security represent a threat to you?’.
This Pressbook has made every effort to follow principles of universal design in learning within the course materials (e.g. lecture transcripts, open-captioned videos, image descriptions). While these practices are logistical, they work symbolically for students, serving as an invitation for those who may have few opportunities to witness accessible curriculum design.