Investing in Accessible Online Learning

Published on
April 28, 2021
Time to read: 
Fluorescent white letters on a dark grey background reads Think about Things Differently. The word Differently is upside down.
This image is courtesy of Pexels and Ivan Bertolazzi (pexels-ivan-bertolazzi-2681319). I like how the word differently appearing upside down literally makes people "Think about things differently."

Leadership and Inclusion are two of my special interests. I’ve been learning how to lead people for more than 40 years. Yes, I started learning about leadership while I was a young teenager, as an Air Cadet. I continued to learn more during my military career. Now I’m an entrepreneur and I call myself a Thought Partner.

One of the lessons that I’ve learned, and share, about being an effective leader, is that people pay more attention to what you do, than what you say. If a leader invests their time and money into creating an inclusive workplace, then their team will become more inclusive. This can be as simple as showing up for an event to promote equity and STAYING for the entire event. When a leader stays and interacts with people, rather than leaving to do “more important things” after saying a few welcoming remarks, the leader's choice demonstrates that they genuinely believe in creating an inclusive workplace. I will be forever grateful to Becky Groves for teaching me that lesson when I was a Major.

Over time, I’ve learned that Inclusion is much more complex than striving for gender equity and welcoming people from different backgrounds. I’ve learned that to be truly inclusive, I must also recognize that there are many different ways of learning and processing information. Being inclusive is a life long journey, one that I’ll always be able to improve upon.

This June, I’ll be launching an online course using Thinkific and Zoom. I'm trying to make the course as accessible as possible. Over the last few months, I’ve sought feedback from Canadian entrepreneurs including Sarina Cormier and Natalie Minnema from Two Canes Consulting, Brooke Woboditsch from CCS Inc., Leah Riddell from Signable Vi5ion and others.

This post shares what I plan to do with my course. I’m looking for your feedback to help me provide the most inclusive course that I can.

Here’s an outline of the structure for the course, focusing on accessibility features.
8 group sessions, with professional closed captioning, recordings and transcripts provided after
2 individual sessions, with closed captioning, ASL or LSQ interpreter (on request) through Zoom, may be recorded on request
Participants choice for cameras/audio being turned on/off, and may use chat to participate in all Zoom sessions
Handouts in different formats including two versions of slides available the day of group session, pdf and a plain text version including all words on the slides
Homework assignments, in pdf and plain text versions
Options on how homework is completed for example: journal style, vision board, audio or video format

I would love your feedback, so I can make adjustments as I build the course over the next few weeks.