Reasons for Change

Through the social model, disability is understood as an unequal relationship within a society in which the needs of people with impairments are often given little or no consideration. (Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF) 2009)

This section covers all the reasons for change which may range from reasons of equality, reducing barriers, the law, and a realisation that making resources accessible and easy to use tends to help all students - this has been called Universal Design for Learning by some organisations and was mentioned on the Open University's Inclusive Teaching website.  


The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) in the USA has some guidelines for developing teaching and learning practices that should be made accessible and appropriate for all students by adopting flexibility in learning outcomes, methods, materials, and assessments.


‘Universal’ does not imply a single solution for all; it accepts that multiple approaches are needed to meet the needs of diverse learners. In particular, UDL uses learning technologies to make education more inclusive and effective for all.

  • multiple means of representation: giving learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
  • multiple means of expression: providing learners with alternative ways of demonstrating what they know
  • multiple means of engagement: tapping into learners’ interests, offering appropriate challenges, and increasing motivation. (Adapted from CAST.)

 Sheffield Hallam University developed guidelines for accessible assessments in 2003 and much of the advice still stands as do the ideas offered by JISC TechDis on taking a Holistic Approach