The Accessible Dartmouth Initiative (ADI), officially launched in April 2022, is now in its second full academic year. The last 18 months have presented opportunities for learning, connection, change, and growth for both our participants and the ADI Leadership Team. We continue to adapt to the needs of Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students and to build our capacity for supporting change.
UDL Institutes & Grant Funds
ADI works hard to create communities of practice where faculty and staff educators deeply engage with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and build cross-campus connections. As part of ADI's continuous improvement efforts, the leadership team regularly collects feedback from participants to respond to their teaching and learning challenges by offering programming and grant support that work seamlessly together. Participants in the regular 3-day Universal Design for Learning Institute (UDLi) offerings are eligible to opt into the ADI Grant which provides structured and personalized support from the ADI leadership team. So far, 23 faculty and staff educators have completed at least 1 UDLi and 16 have completed grant projects, with 9 others currently working on their projects.
Learn more about completed projects on the Dartmouth UDL Grantee Case Studies page.
Global Accessibility Awareness Days at Dartmouth
The second annual Global Accessibility Awareness Days (GAAD) at Dartmouth took place during the week of May 15, 2023, coinciding with the 12th annual GAAD. Partners from across campus shared their current projects. Heidi Denzel and Nick Ostrau, Instructors in the German Program, and LB White, Assistant Director for Wellbeing in the Student Wellness Center, shared their work on German F.L.O.W which integrates wellness into the curriculum. DCAL hosted guest speaker Adam Wolfsdorf, author of Navigating Trauma in the English Classroom. Melanie Morel, Assistive Technology Manager in Student Accessibility Services, coached attendees of her session through strategies for creating accessible documents.
A full description of the sessions and presenters is available on the GAAD at Dartmouth page.
Meet our New Student Assistants
As ADI's mission is focused on improving student experiences and access, it is key that students take part in the work. The ADI team has welcomed 2 new student assistants to our team, Ahmed Elmi and Kayanne Pickett. They are currently working with the team on a variety of projects, including an open educational resource (OER) the team is writing and looking to share with the community in Winter 2024. We are excited to continue to build student involvement and include their voices in ADI programming and resources.
I am Ahmed Elmi, a freshman at Dartmouth College from Somalia, majoring in Computer Science and Economics. I am deeply interested in ADI's work because I believe in the power of education and inclusivity. As someone passionate about creating equal opportunities for all, I find ADI's mission to ensure that no student is left being incredibly important. I look forward to bringing this mission into reality.
Kayanne is a '26 who is interested in majoring in either Sociology or Geography with a minor in public policy and a minor in either education or human-centered design. She comes to Dartmouth from Florida. She is enthusiastic about accessibility for neurodivergent learners and is excited to learn more through her work with ADI.
What's Next for ADI
Save the Date: Dartmouth Designs to Teach the Whole Student
Wednesday, December 6th 1:00-2:00 PM ET via Zoom
The ADI team is honored to host Lillian Nave in this virtual session.
Who are our students? How can we leverage the diversity and variability of the Dartmouth student body to create richer, more nuanced educational environments using a strength-based, talent-focused approach? Based on Universal Design for Learning principles and through the lens of learner variability, we will examine how to teach the whole student and decrease friction without reducing rigor. In doing so, we will align with Dartmouth's values and vision to create a "vibrant, inclusive learning environment" that "embraces diversity" in a collaborative community.
Lillian Nave is a Senior Lecturer in First Year Seminar focussing on Intercultural Competence and is the CETLSS (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for Student Success) Coordinator at Appalachian State's Hickory Campus where she leads faculty development initiatives and implements Universal Design for Learning programs for both campuses. As the host of the Think UDL podcast, she interviews practitioners all over the world who are improving educational environments through equitable and inclusive practices based on the UDL principles. She writes scholarly and practical pieces on UDL implementation and shares this scholarship in articles, podcasts, workshops, and presentations.
Register for Dartmouth Designs to Teach the Whole Student.
Universal Design for Learning Institute on Engagement
December 12-14, 10 am - 2:30 pm via Zoom
For the upcoming UDLi, we are focusing on Engagement through a UDL lens, which acknowledges that learners differ in what motivates them to learn. Due to this inherent difference, it is vital to offer multiple options for recruiting learners' interest, sustaining their effort, and building their self-regulation skills. Through case studies, group work, discussions, and more, participants will identify barriers to engagement in their courses and design strategies for bringing these barriers down. Institute participants are eligible for a $1500 stipend following the completion of a UDL project. Learn more and apply to UDLi by November 27th!