Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Inclusive and Accessible Learning in the IAD

Information about the work the IAD is doing to make our events, networks and resources inclusive and accessible.

At the IAD we are committed to making our events, networks and resources inclusive and accessible for everyone. We want to get beyond any kind of basic tick box approach to inclusion and make the IAD an excellent example of inclusive practice. We will be having regular discussions in the IAD leadership team and sub-team meetings to help take this forward. We have also embedded the principles of inclusive learning within our educational development work with colleagues across this institution.

Here are some of the steps we have taken to achieve excellent practice (not an exhaustive list):

Broad approach

  • We will always strive to follow the University Dignity and Respect Policy closely.
  • We will aim to build inclusive practice into all of our work at the design stage and support others in the University to do the same.
  • We will regularly review our progress and the consequences of our work in this area.

Practical arrangements

  • We have a single contact for any disabled student, member of staff or other participant who wants to ask questions in confidence about our provision or ask for anything that would aid their participation: sarah.mcallister@ed.ac.uk; 0131 651 7143.
  • If you book for an IAD event we will always ask about support you might need to participate and will do our best to provide that.
  • If you are coming to an IAD event that does not require booking then you can let Sarah McAllister know about any support you need to be able to participate.
  • We have a gender neutral toilet in our building.
  • Here is information about the accessibility of 1 Morgan Lane where the IAD is based. The building is wheelchair accessible. The teaching room in the building has an induction loop.
  • We are working with Information Services to make sure our online provision is as accessible as possible.
  • We will provide email notification as soon as possible for any changes to events.

Teaching practice

  • We strive to make any readings and resources used in our events as diverse as possible in origin.
  • All presenters at IAD events now set up their powerpoint slides with off white backgrounds, dark text and sans serif fonts to aid students with specific learning differences.
  • To make participation easier for all, events organised by the IAD will provide the following online at least 24 hours before the event: a description of the event; an event outline (or slides if appropriate); any key words and formulae needed to understand the event.
  • Where IAD credit-bearing courses and programmes have a reading list this will be provided online at least 4 weeks in advance and will be divided up into essential and other readings.
  • Where there is a working microphone in any teaching room for an event organised by the IAD the presenter will always use it.
  • We will aim to always face our audiences, have good light on our faces (if we can control that) and avoid blocking the view of our faces.
  • We have lecture capture technology installed in teaching room B.09 in the IAD and all University employees leading IAD events will follow University lecture capture policy when teaching in rooms which have this capacity. We will not use lecture capture during workshop activities and discussions in order to respect participants’ privacy.

More information for staff

If you are interested in making your own courses and programmes more inclusive then please see our resources on this topic here:

Information for teaching staff on making teaching more inclusive