Inquire what your students need, and practice UDI principles.
UDI stands for “Universal Design of Instruction,” and in this context it implies that your class design is intended to reach out to all of your students’ learning and accessibility needs. This may change what learning platforms and methods you choose, what technologies you use and how, and how you organize the digital classroom or set of students. Some software, for example, will transcribe video for you. YouTube videos are automatically transcribed if you record and share them there.
According to this excellent resource for Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19, apps like Otter.ai or Thisten will generate transcripts of Zoom conferences or prerecorded audio. Visit the site for other key UDI principles, such as including “ALT Text” with images you share or post on webpages, choosing modes of discussion, and incorporating policies that recognize how the situation is especially precarious for disabled or chronically ill students.
Thinking through the entire structure with UDI in mind is an essential, ongoing, and collaborative process. Thinking with Disability Justice itself, and utilizing resources like the above, can help you choose your course structure and best practices. As the site suggests,
Disabled people have been using online spaces to teach, organize, and disseminate knowledge since the internet was invented. Disabled people are leading survival praxis in apocalyptic times.