Partially funded by a CU-System Diversity and Excellence Grant, Diverse Learners Awareness Week was a project co-sponsored by OIT and Disability Services, and included partnerships with the CU Boulder Chancellor’s Accessibility Committee and the Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) Conference. The initiative is now part of OIT’s Strategic Plan and will be an annual event that builds community and aligns with the Diversity and Inclusion Summit.
In late 2015 when CU Boulder began focusing on a mission of inclusive excellence, members of the ATDT recognized an opportunity to specifically expand the notion of diversity to one that includes persons with disabilities and help to create an inclusive campus overall, while also calling attention to CU Boulder’s new Accessibility Policy. Under the new policy’s stated goal of becoming a fully accessible campus by fiscal year 2018, our Universal Instructional Design Consultant saw that there needed to be additional outreach around both the policy and accessibility more broadly. Alaina Beaver teamed with Jill Sieben-Schneider, Associate Director of Disability Studies, to apply for a Diversity and Excellence Grant, which was funded in January of 2016. The challenge then became how to put together a campus-wide event in two months’ time.
Members of the ATDT and Disability Services came together to form a team dedicated to planning and implementing Diverse Learners Awareness Week, April 18-22, 2016. As the team began working in Feb. of 2016, Diverse Learners Awareness Week was raised to project status within OIT and, once chartered, the team was able to leverage a wider variety of OIT and campus networks more broadly.
The result was a “celebration of the ways we learn and play at CU,” a week-long series of events that garnered participation across the CU campuses and from the CU System office.
Diverse Learners Awareness Week aligned with the Chancellor’s goals of Reputation, Retention and Revenue as well as a focus on inclusive excellence. As an outreach event that spanned across the CU Boulder campus and the broader institution in initial partnerships, Diverse Learners Awareness Week primarily worked to promote the CU Boulder reputation, specifically in regards to inclusive excellence. In addition, by involving a wide variety of presenters and groups across the campus who work directly with students, Diverse Learners Awareness Week contributed to positive community-building, which links to Retention of students, and therefore, Revenue.
Alaina Beaver, co-lead, Universal Instructional Design Consultant, Academic Technology Design Team, OIT
Valerie Hamilton-Brodie, co-lead, Senior Access Coordinator, Disability Services
Joseph Andenmatten, Access Coordinator, Disability Services
David Normann, Project Manager, OIT
Sandra Sawaya, Academic Design Strategy Manager, Academic Technology Design Team, OIT
Jill Sieben-Schneider, Associate Director, Disability Services
Courtney Fell, Learning Experience Designer, Academic Technology Design Team, OIT
Robert Schwander, Information Design Manager, OIT
Greg Stauffer, Public Relations and Communications Manager, OIT
Kristin Lueck, Technical Communications Coordinator, OIT