Inclusive Design Approach
Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Colorado State University strives to be a “welcoming, accessible and inclusive” campus. Its broad definition of diversity includes individuals with disabilities, for whom full inclusion in the academic life of the institution requires unimpeded access to the physical environment and to electronic and information technology, which is the lifeblood of academia.
Removing Barriers to Equal Access
Achieving equal access for people with disabilities and diverse learning needs usually involves eliminating barriers present in environment. For someone using a wheelchair, the barrier may be a step at the entrance to a building or a sidewalk without a curb cut. For students who cannot hear, the obstacle may be an uncaptioned video. And for people with visual impairments, who rely on text-to-speech software to read text aloud, the barrier can be a simple paper syllabus.
Colleges and universities are required by law to make their facilities and programs accessible to qualified students with disabilities. They achieve this by providing “reasonable accommodations,” which are typically coordinated by an office of disability services (DS). Accommodations may include sign language interpreting, note taking, conversion of textbooks to digital formats, and video captioning. Solutions of this type may be considered reactive because they occur [...]