Changes Are Demanding That Campuses Include All Learners
Demographics on campuses have changed, expectations for accessibility have increased, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to provide inclusive experiences for all learners. Thirty years after the ADA was signed into law, much has been achieved; however, there is more to be accomplished at colleges and universities if we are to provide inclusive experiences for all learners. A renewed approach to campus planning and design, informed by the principles of Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning, and with a commitment to delivering hybridized online and in-person models of educational delivery, is needed now.
Abstract: In context of COVID-19, institutions are developing new approaches to online learning at an unprecedented pace. Looking ahead, this great experiment may offer lessons for broadening the definition of accessibility. Three decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act established minimum accessibility standards for the built environment, this moment of accelerated change presents a unique opportunity to utilize hybrid delivery models and universal design principles to rethink accessibility. Sasaki principal Greg Havens examines how continued emphasis on improvements to the physical environment, when combined with hybrid learning and services, could transform the way we plan the human-centered, accessible campuses of tomorrow.