Accessibility is often limited to people with limitations of different bodily functions. In the HyLeC project the diversity of society in which people with their different abilities, skills and needs are respected and emphasized as enrichments (Buchem). Possible heterogeneity dimensions at universities are different learning styles and educational biographies, ethnic-cultural origins and religions, different age structures, gender perspectives, family forms and economic life situations as well as motor, sensory, emotional and/or social abilities.
The prerequisite for such a university of diversity is an educational offer that is adaptable to individual possibilities, different previous knowledge, different preferred learning strategies and diverse subject orientations, but also individual preferences and wishes of the learners. These learning opportunities must be easily accessible to all, usable without assistance, and suitable for achieving learning goals.
With the action plan "A University for All", TU Dortmund proactively creates higher education structures, cultures and practices that enable equal participation in education and work for all. This makes TU Dortmund one of the leading universities in Germany in the topic area of "Inclusive Higher Education" (cf.).
For HyLeC, this means that structures such as the spatial location in the Co-Learning-Space, the equipment according to the principles of universal design (NCSU 1997), and the selection of software and design of the Internet presence according to the requirements of WCAG and BITV 2.0 create the basic conditions for including people with different dimensions of heterogeneity.
In addition, cultures are created that grant access to as many people as possible to the various offerings in HyLeC. This will be achieved by including the heterogeneous student body and university employees already in the planning phases (advisory board), the consideration of diverse and flexible offers and a fundamentally appreciative attitude of all employees. It is important to recognize diverse individual needs and to work out concrete solutions. All learning opportunities in HyLeC are designed according to the principles of Universal Design for Learning (CAST 2018). This applies to digital self-learning units as well as on-site workshops and courses.
Additional practices, such as a transparent presentation of the range of offerings and potential barriers that cannot be solved, are intended to further improve the access requirements. Continuous testing and evaluation by different groups of people also contributes to this. All students and employees of the TU are invited to test the offerings and to develop constructive solutions together with those responsible at HyLeC for better possibilities of use. This refers to both the spatial and technical offers as well as, for example, the equipment instructions and didactic offerings.
For messages, questions and suggestions about accessibility in HyLeC please contact: hylec.kme.fk13lists.tu-dortmundde
Buchem, Ilona. 2013. Diversität und Spaltung. Digitale Medien in der Gesellschaft. In: Ebner, Martin; Schön, Sandra (Hrsg.): L3T. Lehrbuch für Lernen und Lehren mit Technologien. 2. DOI: 10.25656/01:8364
CAST - Center for Applied Special Technology. 2018. Universal Design for Learning. https://www.cast.org/impact/universal-design-for-learning-udl
NCSU - NC State University, The Center for Universal Design. 1997. The Principles of Universal Design. https://design.ncsu.edu/research/center-for-universal-design/