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Online Access for Tertiary Students who are Blind or Vision Impaired

Increasingly there are demands on educators to integrate technology into tertiary education and training to support the development of 21st-century competencies, however the technology must be both accessible and inclusive to create equitable learning experiences. Learners, educators and other professional staff who are blind or vision impaired and studying or working in the tertiary sector in Australia often experience a range of barriers, particularly when the learning is provided online.

Overview of Program

This e-Learning program is designed for educational staff working in the tertiary sector (Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training). It focuses on a range of practical solutions and strategies to address access barriers experienced by learners who are blind or vision impaired studying in tertiary education in Australia. It aims to increase your understanding of  developing and facilitating  teaching practice.

There are 5 modules in this program. We strongly advise you to undertake the modules in successive order to optimise your understanding of accessible and inclusive online practice.

You can work through the program at your own pace and do not need to complete it in one sitting. You can log out and log back in at any time. You should be able to complete all 5 modules in approximately 90-120 minutes. A short quiz after each module is a good checkpoint for your understanding. A certificate of achievement is awarded upon successful completion of all 5 modules.​

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, you should be able to:

  • identify key principles and practices of accessible and inclusive online learning
  • demonstrate knowledge of contemporary approaches to accessible and inclusive online learning in tertiary settings
  • develop the confidence to apply these strategies in practice.

Language and Terminology

There is a range of language and terminology used in each state/territory and across the tertiary sector. The terms below are used in this learning program to mean the following things:

  • Blindness and vision impairment: includes anyone who is considered legally blind, or has a permanent vision loss that affects their daily functioning and cannot be corrected with glasses. Please note that vision impairment and low vision are often used interchangeably but may in some circumstances have different applications.
  • Tertiary providers: universities, colleges, adult community education providers, TAFE and other registered training organisations.
  • Learners: tertiary education and training participants.
  • Learners with disability: including ongoing or temporary health and medical conditions.
  • Educators: teachers, lecturers, tutors, trainers and assessors.
  • Courses: subjects, units, units of competency, modules and programs.
  • Curriculum: training packages, qualifications, units of competency, learning objectives and outcomes, course requirements.
  • Universal Design for Learning: Universal Design for Instruction, Universal Design for Education, Universal Design for Teaching.

There is a glossary of terms and list of abbreviation [DOCX 23KB] that you can refer to at any time during the training. You can also download or print this document for future reference.

External Links

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Embedded videos

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This resource and the associated ADCET Guidelines: Online Tertiary Access for Students and Staff who are Blind or Vision Impaired has been produced by the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) in partnership with Blind Citizens Australia (BCA). It has been informed by the professional guidance and expertise of an advisory group and has been influenced by the significant Vision Australia report (2018) Online, but offtrack: barriers to online learning experienced by university students who are blind or have low vision, which has been quoted throughout this document. We extend our sincere thanks to all those who participated and contributed [DOCX 18KB].