Inclusive Classrooms 101: Accessible Classrooms
Diversity & Inclusion

Inclusive Classrooms 101: Accessible Classrooms

Creating accessible English language classrooms where every learner's needs are accommodated is essential for fostering an environment where all students feel equally valued and motivated to succeed.

In this blog post, we'll explore practical ways to make learning spaces more accessible for students with diverse needs.

Ensure Physical Accessibility

Provide desks and chairs that can be adjusted in height to accommodate different physical needs. If possible, consider rearranging the furniture in your classroom to ensure optimal accessibility for students using wheelchairs or crutches.

Offer Multiple Learning Materials

In an inclusive and accessible classroom, content is sourced from a variety of materials and presented through diverse teaching methods. Ensure there are multiple ways for students to access the same information:

  • Implement speech-to-text tools for students with writing challenges.
  • Provide digital versions of books.
  • Utilise visual aids such as interactive whiteboard software, charts, and pictures to supplement verbal instructions.

 

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Adapt Assessment Methods

Offer different ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge, such as oral presentations, projects, or written tests. Additionally, provide extended time for tests and assignments if necessary.

Use Inclusive Language

Person-first language is the best choice to avoid stigmatising learners. Use language that emphasises the student first, such as "student with a disability" instead of "disabled student". Also, make sure to implement positive reinforcement–focus on abilities and strengths, rather than limitations.

Train and Educate Staff

An accessible classroom is one in which accommodations are established and supported by teachers and students alike. If you are a school owner, it would be beneficial to regularly train teachers on the latest accessibility tools and inclusive teaching strategies.

Involve Students

Initiate conversations about accessibility and encourage students to share their thoughts and ideas.

Classroom Challenge: As part of a lesson, ask your students what changes they would make to the classroom to make it more accessible for a character like Suki from the #CodeCrackers in our #English series.

This not only enhances their English language skills but also promotes accessibility awareness!

Conclusion

By integrating these practices, teachers can create an inclusive classroom environment that supports the diverse needs of all students. Encouraging students to think about accessibility fosters empathy and understanding, essential skills for global citizens. 

Let's lead by example and inspire our students to envision and create inclusive spaces for everyone!

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