Hybrid Learning Accessibility Best Practices
Inclusivity and Hybrid Learning
Hybrid learning settings add additional challenges to students’ educational and personal experiences. It is important to acknowledge inclusivity and accessibility in the hybrid learning environment to ensure all students can equitably access, use, and understand the content. Making course content accessible to all students in these scenarios requires some adjustments.
In addition, accommodation needs may arise in hybrid and online learning environments. If a student discloses a disability or requests additional accommodations beyond what they are approved for, direct them to contact OASID at email@example.com.
How to Promote an Inclusive Hybrid Classroom
- Ask students to mute themselves on Zoom unless they are speaking.
- Repeat important information and reiterate statements made by other students in the course in the event that the remote learners were unable to hear the initial conversation.
- This includes any information or annotations that are written on the Whiteboard feature of Zoom.
- Provide course materials to students via email or posted to Canvas prior to class lectures or in as much advance as possible.
- Set expectations for how students should use the Chat function to post comments, questions, and additional resources in the Chat while you lecture and/or hold a discussion,
- Always read aloud to the entire class what is posted in the Chat to be inclusive of all students. Be mindful that not all students may be able to read the Chat.
- While using the Chat feature in Zoom, keep in mind that participants using assistive technology may not be able to copy or click on the links. You can send any links prior to or after class. You can also read aloud the URL when posting it in the chat. Use a URL shortener, like bit.ly or Tiny URL, to help with speaking the link verbally and so that the link is easier for anyone copying it from the chatbox.
- Limit the Zoom polling feature
- Currently, the polling feature has significant barriers for both presenters and participants with disabilities.
Media in the Classroom
- If you are showing a video during a class lecture, refrain from speaking while it is being played to ensure that all students are able to hear the audio. Consider pausing the video if you would like to speak.
- When sharing your screen, be sure to describe aloud what is being displayed. Individuals that use screen readers are not able to access content shared on the screen.
- Ensure all media is captioned by following the instructions in the Handbook for Captioning Media at TC.
- If you are sharing your screen while playing captioned media, ensure you enable the captions so that anyone watching will be able to see them.
- Students may have a question regarding accessibility or other privacy concerns, and Zoom does not allow for these types of one-on-one interactions. Develop a process for students to express their questions directly to the instructor. You may want to consider using the direct message feature on Zoom, email, etc. that is checked throughout the class time.
- Be mindful of the direct message on Zoom or elsewhere being projected onto a larger device that is visible to other students to ensure the message remains private.
Break Out Rooms
- Within Zoom, live transcripts cannot be enabled within breakout rooms. If participants require captioning, they should remain in the main Zoom room.
- When there are multiple break-out rooms within one physical location, make sure to spread them out as far as possible to reduce audio distractions.
- Ensure the ASL interpreters are added to the same breakout room as the person using the interpreter.
ASL Interpreters in the Classroom
- Sign on to the virtual meeting ahead of time to make sure the interpreters are signed on and able to communicate with each other, the instructor, and the Deaf or hard of hearing individual.
- When working with ASL interpreters speak clearly, especially if wearing a mask.
- Use a clear mask, if requested, so that a Deaf or hard of hearing participant can see facial expressions or be able to read your lips.
- Speak at a natural rhythm - not too fast and not too slow.
- When reading material, make sure to slow down. People tend to speed up when they are reading.
- Provide any prep materials ahead of the class to the ASL interpreters and CART teams.
- Face the audience or where the Deaf or hard of hearing participants are viewing the class.
- Avoid jargon, slang, or colloquialisms unless they are part of the lesson.
- If you are recording the Zoom class, be sure you have your Zoom settings enabled to capture all of the views including the interpreters.