|APrIGF 2022 Session Proposal Submission Form|
|Part 1 - Lead Organizer|
|Dr. Sudha Bhuvaneshwari Narayanaswamy|
|Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *|
|Dr. GRD institutions, India|
|President- ISOC Chennai Chapter, Associate Professor,|
|Economy of Residence|
|Primary Stakeholder Group|
|Part 2 - Session Proposal|
|Digital accessibility and connectivity for disabled students in higher education during COVID-19|
|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)|
|Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)|
|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.|
|Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2022?|
|Brief Summary of Your Session|
|The session was a panel discussion on how the students with disability managed to study online during the pandemic and what are the various challenges faced by them during this period. The discussion also focuses on the various Learning Management Portals and Tools available for their support and where improvements required. The Panel consisted of 4 speakers 2 speakers from India and 2 speakers from Srilanka with appropriate gender balance representing the academia and institution of learning with disability.|
|Substantive Summary of the Key Issues Raised and the Discussion|
|The key issues raised were proper support to have access to the learning management tools and connectivity issues and support from the Government and the same was discussed from perspectives of different countries.|
|Conclusions and Suggestions of Way Forward|
|Representation to the community and the Government to support the initiatives of helping disabled students to continue their higher education with connectivity, moral support, reachability and accessibility.|
|Number of Attendees (Please fill in numbers)|
|Gender Balance in Moderators/Speakers (Please fill in numbers)|
|How were gender perspectives, equality, inclusion or empowerment discussed? Please provide details and context.|
|Inclusion was the main talk of discussion and the points of how disabled students were able to manage their studies at the time of covid and post covid were discussed and the discussion also highlighted on how to make them more inclusive to be a part of this community.|
|I agree that my data can be submitted to forms.for.asia and processed by APrIGF organizers for the program selection of APrIGF 2022.|