Yale University Celebrates National Disability Awareness Month

In 1988, the United States Congress declared October as National Disability Awareness Month, to raise awareness of the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. This month, DiversAbility at Yale University (DAY), one of Yale’s eight affinity groups, will celebrate the month of October with a variety of educational programs, events, and networking opportunities. DAY encourages all to attend, learn about the types of disabilities and become a disability ally.

Below is a list of  workshops DAY is offering that apply to technology and accessibility:

Wednesday Oct 4, 3:00-4:00 pm
Workshop: Introduction to Universal Design for Learning
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York) Rm 121
How can we make our classes accessible, engaging and relevant to a broad diversity of learners–including those with disabilities? Workshop leader Katherrine Healey (McDougal Graduate Teaching Fellow and doctoral candidate in the History of Science and Medicine) will show how the principles of Universal Design for Learning may help us design learning activities so that all students will have equitable opportunities to learn and succeed. Registration information.

Thursday Oct 5, Thursday Oct 12, Thursday Oct 19 and Thursday Oct 26, 11:30-12:00
Tips for Making Your Canvas @ Yale Course Sites More Accessible
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York) Rm 118A
Find out how the Canvas @ Yale platform for course web sites has been designed with accessibility in mind, and learn where to find resources to help you make your course content more accessible. Registration information.

Wednesday Oct 11, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Founders Day at Yale University Library
Sterling Memorial Library (SML)
The open house will present an array of current projects, collections, services, and resources from all across the library system. One table will be devoted to library accessibility services and disabilities studies resources. Library staff who are members of the DiversAbility at Yale Affinity Group will demonstrate screen reader software, provide information about universal design, and will help visitors find information about disability studies in the library’s collections. See a list of exhibitions.

Monday Oct 16, 12:00-12:30 pm
Brownbag Lunch: Alt Text and Accessibility in the Classroom and Beyond
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York)
Incorporating images, graphs, and maps into your instruction provides multiple means of representation for students’ varying learning styles. However, purely visual information is not accessible to all learners. This talk will cover how to add alternative text—or alt text—to images in your documents, slides, or on your Canvas site so that all students can benefit. Led by Katherrine Healey, McDougal Graduate Teaching Fellow. For more information.

Tuesday Oct 23, 12:00-12:45 pm
Brownbag Lunch: Easy Ways to Make Word Docs and PDFs More Accessible
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York)
Bring your lunch to a demonstration of some simple things you can do to make sure that your Word documents and PDFs are accessible to all members of the Yale community. This session will be led by David Hirsch, Director of Educational Technology Strategy, Center for Teaching and Learning. For more information.

Wednesday Oct 25, 12:00-1:00 pm
Workshop: IT Accessibility
25 Science Park, Rm 125
Come learn tips for content editors to improve the experience of their websites for all users, especially for people with disabilities. The session will focus primarily around the YaleSites, but people creating content for any website can benefit. The session will focus on how to use headings, images, links, and readable text in order to make your site more compatible with assistive technologies, such as screen readers. Registration information.



The DiversAbility at Yale (DAY) Affinity Group’s mission is to create an environment that is open and inclusive for all individuals impacted by disability through engagement, education, and advocacy. DAY also focuses on ways to support the recruitment, retention and advancement of people with disabilities.

DAY is open to all Yale staff, faculty, and postdocs, with or without a disability, representing a diverse range of departments and interests within the Yale Community.

For more information about DAY visit their website, or email them at  day@yale.edu; they can also be reached by phone at 203-432-9667. Or like them on their Facebook page to read about upcoming events.

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