I Want to be an Ally

two students sitting at a desk

Being an ally in accessibility and universal design for learning is crucial for fostering inclusivity within higher education. Inclusive practices benefit not only those with differing abilities but also enhance the overall educational and work experience for everyone within our SJSU community. Allyship cultivates a culture of understanding and equal opportunity, preparing students, faculty, and staff alike to engage in this critical aspect of social justice, belongingness, and inclusion.

Each of us has multiple opportunities to become better advocates and allies for accessibility, including the following:

1. Develop Awareness:  Educate yourself and others about best practices related to accessibility. Share resources and information among your peers and colleagues about the importance of universal design for learning, equity, inclusion, and reporting an accessibility concern

2. Advocate for Policies: Encourage others to adopt and implement accessibility policies within the classroom, office, university, or other workplaces and businesses you visit. Support initiatives that promote inclusive design, accessible technology, and accommodations for folks of differing abilities. Get involved in campus initiatives that support this aspect of inclusion and social justice.

3. Get Training: Sign up for training sessions through eCampus or take a LinkedinLearning Accessibility Course on creating accessible content, adopting inclusive teaching methods, and leveraging assistive technologies. 

4. Promote Inclusive Design: Leverage tools to adhere to universal design principles in course materials, websites, and instructional methods thereby improving the learning experiences for all. Faculty and staff should ensure that educational materials are fully accessible in a variety of formats.

5. Listen and Respond: Listen to the needs and feedback of SJSU community members with disabilities. Work closely with the Accessible Education Center to create lines of open communication and respond in a timely way to requests for accommodations, ensuring that SJSU’s learning environment is truly inclusive and supportive for all.