Posted by: MandyS | September 7, 2011

Activity 2.4 – Definition

My notes for this are very much spread throughout my other posts so I will focus on the ‘sentences’ instead.

How would you define accessibility?

On the basis of what I have read so far, I suppose one definition could be ‘achieving inclusion by minimising barriers in order to accomodate the needs of everyone’. This is somewhat generic but then so is the term ‘accessibility’.

Who do you think is responsible?

Seale suggests that everyone is responsible for accessibility and I think this has to be right. It is very easy for practioners to say ‘that’s not my job’ when faced with difficult issues. Ultimately, all those involved in the provision of a service have to take responsibility.

What do you understand by ‘accessibility’ in an educational context?

I think this has to go back to basics i.e. particpation in a course of learning to develop knowledge and understanding. In order to be able to do so, students need to be able to attend a college, have access to the learning materials and get to know other students to develop social as well as intellectual skills.

What do you understand by ‘accessibility’ in the context of online learning?

By its very nature, this type of learning involves the use of technology e.g. a computer to access and interact with learning materials, forums to interact with other students etc. To be of benefit, it needs to be useable i.e. the material can be read, the audio can be heard etc. Accessibility here is about minimising barriers created by technology to ensure the learning experience is the same for everyone.

Why is ‘accessibility’ a concern today in your context?

There is an increasing number of students in HE who are declaring disabilities. Online learning can greatly benefit disabled students in that they don’t need to be able to physically attend a college, study can be at a time which fits in with their individual circumstances etc. All those involved in the provision of education need to ensure that every student is able to particiapte in, and achieve, the same level of learning experience.


Seale, J. (2006) E-Learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice, Abingdon, Routledge; also available online at (accessed 26 August 2011)


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