Post-Secondary Q&A with CAPER-BC

On Friday, June 12, 2020, Corrie Playford, Accessibility Librarian at the Centre for Accessible Post-Secondary Education Resources (CAPER-BC) joined PRCVI for a discussion on what students should know about accessible educational materials heading into their post-secondary careers. This informative hour-long session was attended remotely by TSVIs and students from across BC via Zoom. The session was not recorded and so below are some notes taken from our discussion.

Corrie shared about CAPER's mandate and the services provided to students at post-secondary institutions across British Columbia. For more information, check out CAPER's info page. TSVIs were curious to learn about the various alternate formats produced on behalf of students with perceptual disabilities - these are listed on CAPER's Formats page. 

Corrie emphasized the importance of students reaching out to their prospective institution's Accessibility Services office to investigate what services and supports are in place at the institution for students with disabilities. For some students, these services may play a significant role in the decision making process around which institution will be a good fit. 

Corrie suggested that students contact the Accessibility Services office at their prospective institution to also ask which Learning Management System (LMS) is commonly used at the school, or, specifically, which LMS is used in the prospective faculty. This way, the student can test how well their assistive technology works with the LMS interface and can troubleshoot accessibility issues in advance of the start of courses. 

  • With many students attending classes through remote learning and with some instructors gathering responses via apps, Corrie mentioned that it would also be important to ask which apps are typically used by instructors so that any accessibility troubleshooting can happen in advance. For example, if the instructor uses an app to poll the class during synchronous lectures, this should be checked to make sure it is accessible and usable with the student's technology. 

Finally, our conversation turned to digital accessibility, inclusive design, and the role of the course instructor. Corrie shared some resources for post-secondary instructors to create content with accessibility in mind:

About the author

Adam Wilton

I have been fortunate to learn and grow with students with visual impairments since 2007, working as a teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVI), Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) and most recently as the Program Manager of PRCVI and ARC-BC. I completed a PhD in Special Education at the University of British Columbia in 2017 where my research focused on the administrative determinants of workloads for itinerant TSVIs.   

One of my favourite aspects of my current role is delivering outreach support to my colleagues and their students from across British Columbia. I've been fortunate to have many exciting adventures in schools and communities across the province and I hope you enjoy following along through #outreaching!

When I'm not on the road, I enjoy learning to play the violin, collecting antique books, and spending time surrounded by trees. 

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