HEDforALL

HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ACCESSIBLE HIGHER EDUCATION

About the Project

Framework

The strength of our society lies in education and research in Higher Education Institutes. However, too many Students with Disabilities (SwD) (i.e., visual, hearing, physical/mobility/ impairments and learning difficulties) are denied this right due to numerous barriers and obstacles to accessible digital education (i.e., accessible digital material and Distance Education/e-learning). Teaching SwD in Higher Education presents unique challenges for SwD and their educators, caused by the lack of accessible digital resources based on the type of disability (visual, hearing, mobility/physical impairments and learning difficulties) and the lack of digital competence of academic personnel in order to cope with the SwD’s needs. Teaching staff and accessibility advisors often don’t know how to support SwD. Indisputably there is a gap of transnational research on the specific needs of SwD on accessible educational material and on the needs revealed by Distance Education (DE) for them, as well as on the knowledge and experience that teaching staff and accessibility advisors in HEIs have, in relation to various forms of accessible materials and provision of accessible DE courses for their SwD.

Objectives

  1. The HEDforALL project aims at improving the inclusion of SwD (i.e., visual, hearing, physical/mobility/ impairments and learning difficulties) in Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and support academic personnel to develop digital competences in order to cope with the SwD’s needs on accessible resources and the shift to digital education and e-Learning. The ultimate aim of HEDforALL is the development of a set of educational material, development practices and DE/e-Learning methodologies for the implementation of digital education in higher education. The project’ s specific objectives are:
  2. To identify the needs and requirements of SwD for accessible materials regarding different subjects/courses taught in higher education and the needs revealed by distance education to SwD themselves.
  3. To examine existing knowledge and experience of higher education teaching staff and accessibility advisors in relation to various forms of accessible materials and distance education practices for SwD in order to/and determine their training needs; to examine the impact of the training on their knowledge
  4. To build capacity and professional development for teaching staff and accessibility advisors that will enable them to develop accessible educational materials and DE methods for inclusive DE classes in order to provide SwD with meaningful, high-quality educational opportunities
  5. To develop the most suitable accessible educational materials for SwD in terms of accessibility, usability and educational efficacy and evaluate it in-depth through studies with end-users.
  6. To develop training material for teaching staff and accessibility advisors (e.g., Accessible Material Guide, Educational YouTube videos, and Guide for DE programs), with a concrete set of practices and guidelines for accessible educational material production as well as for the implementation of DE programs to SwD.
  7. To implement pilot accessible DE courses with SwD, and evaluate its accessibility adequacy and learning results.
  8. To implement the first open and free online repository of accessible educational material of different subjects to be used by educators and any interested party.
  9. To share project results at international level.