Proposal

APrIGF 2022 Session Proposal Submission Form
Part 1 - Lead Organizer
Contact Person
Dr. Sudha Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan
Email
Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *
Dr. GRD institutions, India
Designation
President- ISOC Chennai Chapter, Associate Professor,
Gender
Female
Economy of Residence
India
Primary Stakeholder Group
Academia
Part 2 - Session Proposal
Session Title
Digital accessibility and connectivity for disabled students in higher education during COVID-19
Session Format
Panel Discussion
Where do you plan to organize your session?
Onsite at the venue (with online moderator for questions and comments from remote participants)
Specific Issues for Discussion
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education system worldwide. The emergency remote teaching has affected higher education institutions and created challenges for multiple stakeholders including students, faculties, administrators, and policy makers. In this context, the challenges faced by students with disabilities
(SWDs) worsened by COVID-19. My research considers and reflects on existing research on experiences of students with disabilities under the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies challenges and opportunities for supporting students with disabilities and implementing digital accessibility in higher education in post pandemic world.
Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF
With the increased prevalence of the right to equal access to education in many countries, more and more students with disabilities (SWDs) are taking higher education. The pandemic has disrupted education system worldwide affecting over 94% of the world’s student population. The emergency remote teaching has created challenges for all stakeholders in higher education, particularly for students with disabilities. The technological barriers with remote teaching such as inaccessible teaching materials and platforms and the socio-economic challenges such as lack of access to necessary resources have negatively affected the learning experiences of students with disabilities. For example, lectures videos without captioning prevents deaf and hard-of-hearing students from access without sign language translation. Blind and visually impaired students reply on text or audio descriptions of informative images in lecture notes.
The challenges and barriers can be grouped into three main categories:
1.Infrastructure including lack of access to network/WiFi and assistive technology, lack of digital literacy, lack of access to equipment for online learning. For example, deaf/hard-of hearing students experienced a lack of sign language interpreters. Students with visual impairments experienced a lack of competence in using screen readers.
2.Learning material and platform including difficulty accessing learning material and using learning platforms, lack of access to course exams or assessment, and difficulty accessing technical support. For example, deaf/hard-of-hearing students experienced a lack of captioning for videos and live events. Students with visual impairments experienced a lack of descriptions for informative images in teaching notes, and difficulties in using learning management systems.
3.Communication including difficulty communicating with support services, faculty/instructors and fellow students due to for example lack of privacy when SWDs live in family homes.
Methodology / Agenda (Please add rows by clicking "+" on the right)
Time frame (e.g. 5 minutes, 20 minutes, should add up to 60 minutes) Description
5 Introduction and scene setting by facilitator/moderator
20 mins / 5 min per speaker (3) Intro/high level position points
20 mins Interaction with audience questions
5 mins facilitator summation
Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)
  • Moderator (Primary)

    • Name: Dr. Sudha Bhuvaneshwari
    • Organization: Dr. GRD institutions,
    • Designation: President- ISOC Chennai Chapter, Associate Professor
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://in.linkedin.com/in/sudha-bhuvaneswari-narayanaswamy-88431015
  • Moderator (Back-up)

    • Name: Nirosha Wedasinghe
    • Organization: General Sir John Kotelawela Defence University
    • Designation: Senior Lecturer
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Srilanka
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://lk.linkedin.com/in/nirosha-wedasinghe-b1108227
  • Speaker 1

    • Name: Nirosha Wedasinghe
    • Organization: General Sir John Kotelawela Defence University
    • Designation: Senior Lecturer
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Srilanka
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://lk.linkedin.com/in/nirosha-wedasinghe-b1108227
  • Speaker 2

    • Name: H. K. MANIQUE GUNARATNE
    • Organization: Federation of Ceylon
    • Designation: Manager
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Srilanka
    • Stakeholder Group: Government
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): http://efcnetworkondisability.employers.lk/
  • Speaker 3

    • Name: Dr Gnanajeyaraman Rajaram
    • Organization: SBM CIOLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
    • Designation: Secretary- ISOC Chennai Chapter, professor
    • Gender: Male
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
    • Link of Bio (URL only): https://in.linkedin.com/in/gnanajeyaraman-rajaram-58511025
  • Speaker 4

    • Stakeholder Group: Academia
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Proposed
Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.
Speaker 1: Infrastructure including lack of access to network/WiFi and assistive technology, lack of digital literacy, lack of access to equipment for online learning. For example, deaf/hard-of hearing students experienced a lack of sign language interpreters. Students with visual impairments experienced a lack of competence in using screen readers.
Speaker 2: difficulty accessing technical support. For example, deaf/hard-of-hearing students experienced a lack of captioning for videos and live events. Students with visual impairments experienced a lack of descriptions for informative images in teaching notes, and difficulties in using learning management systems.
Speaker 3.Communication including difficulty communicating with support services, faculty/instructors and fellow students due to for example lack of privacy when SWDs live in family homes.
Please declare if you have any potential conflict of interest with the Program Committee 2022.
No
Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2022?
Yes
Number of Participants (Please fill in numbers)
    Consent
    I agree that my data can be submitted to forms.for.asia and processed by APrIGF organizers for the program selection of APrIGF 2022.