Perspective is Everything: How to Integrate Template and Tools to Meet Online Accessibility
Increasing the access to higher education through online programs has not necessarily guaranteed equal access for all students. Institutions face the challenge of meeting the needs of students with disabilities. Not only may the faculty members at these institutions be unaware that a student has disabilities, but students may not know that they need to self-advocate for accommodations. Incorporating the use of a template that includes consistent accessibility tools in on-line courses can help individual faculty address the needs of all students in such a way in that it enables both student groups to bridge existing gaps between not only academics but social differences. Hence, advocating and supporting the creation of a community that emphasizes a feeling of belonging for both groups working to achieve the following goals: 1) increase overall classroom instruction effectiveness for all students; 2) provide for equal awareness of both groups, thus alleviating discriminatory thoughts and actions for campus communities; and 3) increase retention rates of “at-risk” students.