A good starting point for ensuring accessible communication is dismantling the assumptions you hold about how people communicate and why they communicate in the ways that they do. Communication in higher education is not always accessible for all students and staff, but it is often something we do not acknowledge. To dismantle our assumptions about communication, we need to first acknowledge that our preference for communication is not universal. What we think is a “norm” is just a social construct and likely grounded in ableist understandings of what communication should look like.  

Barriers to communication may not be visible to you but they can be present for other individuals at your institution. In order to be accessible, you must be willing to communication information in a variety of ways. For example, providing information in different formats wherever possible. You will also want to check what method(s) of communication are best for individuals. Being willing to change the ways you communicate in order to meet everyone’s needs is critical.  

All types and levels of communication need to be accessible from public facing documents on your institution’s website to course information on an instructor’s online learning management system. 


  • Photo by SolStock via Getty Images. Used with permission.

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