Resources & Guides

Spotlight on Accessible Learning

5 minutes
5 minutes
Whether your learner is 6 or 66, born with their disability or acquired it over time, reaching full potential can only be achieved if learning is accessible and inclusive.


17.3% of Higher Education students report a disability of some kind.  The numbers have risen dramatically (by 47%) over the past decade.  Of course, many of those disabled students will move into employment and continuous professional development. 


What lens are you looking through?

  • Legal: The Equality Act 2010 gives disabled students and employees a legal right to fair treatment and no discrimination. Failure to make reasonable adjustments may result in legal action.
  • Organisation: Many organisations are committed to their EDI agenda. Making your learning accessible helps to bring values and policies alive. 
  • Morals: It’s the right thing to do to make changes to meet needs. Do you want to set up your learners for success?

How can you make your learning accessible?

4 things you can do before a learning session:

1. Show your intent

  • Represent disability via your marketing channels.
  • Make it clear in all course information that access needs are considered and give examples.

2. Ask

  • At sign up, ask about any access needs or preferences. (Don’t always rely on the first answer.)
  • Check with the person to clarify their needs.

3. Share

  • If agreed, update the system or update colleagues, so the person doesn’t have to keep explaining access needs to different people.

4. Prepare for non-disclosure

  • Create materials as inclusive as possible eg font sizes/colours
  • Set up your space to be as accessible as possible.

3 ways to build trust with disabled learners during your session

1. Talk about accessibility

  • Routinely ask if anyone has access needs.
  • Ask specific questions e.g changes to lighting, heating, position, chair. 
  • Offer accessible options on activities.

2. Spotlight accessibility

  • Vary materials and show what accessible materials look like.
  • Use representation in your case studies e.g. disability organisations, or disabled individuals.

3. Humans not heroes

  • Praise for good performance not just for turning up.
  • Don’t put individuals on the spot or single them out.

2 things to do after your session to improve access and inclusion

1. Reflect

  • Gain feedback from disabled individuals on what you did well at and what you can do better at.
  • Use the feedback to inform what you stop, start or continue to do.

2. Repeat the good stuff

  • Create processes to enable sharing of knowledge and skills.
  • Share your knowledge and skills so others can learn from you.
  • Make it easy for other tutors to access the good practice.

1 thing you can do

Over to you……. you have the power to make the change someone needs.


We can deliver an interactive session for your tutors / teachers / facilitators to support them to deliver accessible and inclusive learning. Courses are available throughout the UK either as face to face courses or virtually. Contact us for details or book a call with us.

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