2020 Conference Keynote

Reflections on disability, inclusion & accessibility in academia

Speaker: Yota Dimitriadi

Dr Yota Dimitriadi is an experienced, innovative teacher-educator who specialises in the field of digital technologies and computer science education with passion around inclusion and diversity. Her special interest is in digital well-being and inclusive self-care practices for caring professions. A member of national and international committees, Yota influences policy and practice around women’s leadership skills and female engagement in STEM.

Abstract

There is increased attention in supporting and embracing diversity and inclusion in Higher Education that may have shaped the ways that we work with a growing number of staff and students with disabilities. These approaches can be in the form of reasonable adjustments’ or ‘access to work adjustments’ but also in more inclusive approaches to teaching, learning, curriculum planning as well as flexible working practices. Do these approaches focus on the individual only or offer opportunities to consider systemic challenges and provide scope for organisational culture changes? For instance, while higher than in the past disclosure remains an issue for disabled students. Data around disclosure may also point to differences between staff and student disclosure rates. Does this indicate differences around expectations for staff and students or is it a sign of perceptions of academia as an inaccessible environment?
This talk invites you to a dialogue about the extent that our expected patterns of work and study have changed in more inclusive ways but also to consider some of the barriers that academia still has to remove to support disabled students as well as staff.

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