About this Research Topic
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that people with disabilities have a right, recognized formally by both the United Nations and the Member States of the European Union, to have full opportunity to access and participate in society, including education. Collectively we need to take action to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning and enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life.
In order to start viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, we need to promote a “one size fits one approach”, by cultivating agile, inclusive, responsive approaches to design and encourage that population to be part of the design process of products and services so that the outcome better meets their needs and preferences.
The objective of this Research Topic is to collect state of the art research that:
1. Promotes inclusion in educational settings by:
- Eliminating technical barriers (e.g., in web content by considering accessibility guidelines);
- Adopting pedagogical and didactic strategies that provide opportunities to all students by using frameworks for attending to students' variability. For instance, adopting the Universal Design Learning (UDL) principles to inclusive curriculum design - provide multiple means of representation, provide multiple means of action and expression, and provide multiple means of engagement;
2. Adopts Inclusive Design approaches that match the person with the tools & environments to ensure inclusion (Treviranus, OCAD University, Toronto) and assist in the design of mainstream products/services, which are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible without the need for special adaptation or specialized design (British Standards Institute, 2005);
3. Empowers people with disabilities by giving them a voice in determining the direction of technology design and accessibility through the adoption of Participatory design techniques. Participatory Design (in addition co-design and co-creation) are democratic processes for design that allow the intended users to be involved in the design phase and welcomes and values all stakeholders' input.
Topics to be addressed in this Research Theme will cover both physical and cognitive disabilities and will include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Examples of developing accessible Open Educational Resources
- Examples of inclusive curriculum co-creation
- Empirical evaluations of inclusive education materials and educational technology products · Papers describing design, development, and usability testing of the above-mentioned materials and products
- Descriptions of participatory approaches to the design of such materials and products · Descriptions of new technologies (software or hardware)
- Papers which focus on low-tech, affordable ways of delivering educational opportunities to people with disabilities
- The adaptation or novel use of existing technologies and off-the-shelf components enhance the lives of people with disabilities
- Examples of User-experience design
- Software accessibility for people with disabilities
- Papers which fall into the above categories and have an emphasis on people with severe/profound intellectual disabilities and/or nonverbal individuals are particularly welcome
Keywords: inclusive education, universal design, participatory design, inclusive design, disabilities
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.