The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) published Navigating the Digital Shift. In this guidance document, SEDTA defines two definitions for access.
- Equity of Access: Access to devices and consistent high-speed broadband access that is essential for the implementation of digital instructional materials (and the preparation of students to participate in a knowledge economy).
- Accessibility for All Students: Making sure the needs of all learners (including those with disabilities) are considered when acquiring, developing and implementing digital instructional materials.
The first definition is often what people are referring to when they consider 1:1 as having 'access'. Both definitions are important for integrated learning opportunities for all students!
In a joint Dear Colleague letter from June of 2010, written by the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education defines “accessible” as meaning that a person with a disability is “afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions and enjoy the same services, in an equally effective and integrated manner, and with substantially equivalent ease of use as a person without a disability”. The image below illustrates these concepts in visual form. This definition offers us, as educators, a common definition to consider and work from. Think about our classrooms and the definition, are we providing accessible learning opportunities to students?
Over the remainder of the year, we will be posting different ideas about how we can consider alternate formats and opportunities for learners to engage and use curricular materials. Until then, a key question we can consider:
Can all of our student/s access and use classroom materials and technologies to support learning?
Digital Learning Consultant