New Resources for Making "Practical Spaces" Accessible from Council of Ontario Universities

(Toronto, July 8, 2014)

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is pleased to share that new resources focusing on making “Practical Spaces” accessible have been posted to the website!

A “practical space” is a learning environment where students can engage in active learning and demonstrate, through hands-on activities, the understanding of the practical components of a given discipline. In this paper, Understanding Accessibility in Practical Space Learning Environments Across Disciplines, the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) highlights general principles of accessibility using detailed, field-specific examples that include occupational and physical therapy locations, art and design studios, and archival spaces.

This paper, which was prepared on behalf of COU by NEADS, explores three major themes that extend across disciplines: physical/mobility barriers; technological barriers; and challenges in accommodating and meeting the needs of different learning styles. It also presents recommended best practices that focus on the importance of faculty engagement and collaboration.

NEADS has produced the following additional resources for educators:

-   Creating Accessible Practical Spaces
-   Improving Access to Archival Spaces
-   Improving Access to Art and Design Studios
-   Simulation Learning

All resources are available in both English and French.

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) previously contributed content to the Accessible Campus website for the Council of Ontario Universities. exploring barriers, and solutions for accommodations in the paper, Creating an Accessible Science Laboratory Environment for Students with Disabilities which addresses learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. This content was also released in June, 2014.

If you have questions regarding the Accessible Campus website, please contact:

Amanda Thomson
Policy Analyst, Strategic Initiatives
Council of Ontario Universities
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8
416-979-2165 ext. 229