The first review of the AODA’s Information and communications Standards became public in 2020. In this review, the AODA Information and Communications Standards Development Committee outlines improvements to make information and communications accessible for people with disabilities by 2025. The Committee recommends changes to the Information and Communications Standards, to identify, remove, and prevent accessibility barriers in information. In addition, the Committee recommends an alternative system for developing, updating, and enforcing AODA standards. This new system would affect the Information and Communications Standards, as well as other existing and future standards. This article will discuss the Committee’s recommendations for providing accessibility in school curricula at every level.
Providing Accessibility in School Curricula at Every Level
The Committee recommends that the government should research ways to include information about accessibility in school curricula. Students should learn about accessibility, including digital accessibility, at every stage of their education, including:
- Early years
- Elementary school
- High school
- Postsecondary education
Students who understand accessibility, and have the skills to achieve it, will promote cultural change.
This recommendation is similar to a recommendation in the Third Review of the AODA for accessibility in school curricula at every level. Likewise, the recommendation is also similar to the Kindergarten to Grade Twelve (K-12) Education Standards Development Committee’s recommendation for instruction on disability and human rights in school. In addition, the K-12 Committee makes other recommendations related to the education requirements in the Information and Communications Standards.
Therefore, if the government adopts the K-12 Committee’s recommendations, the Information and Communications Standards Development Committee’s educational recommendations should be moved to the K-12 Education Standards. On the other hand, the government may adopt the K-12 Committee’s recommendations only in part. If the future Education Standards do not include a strong requirement for providing accessibility in school curricula at every level, this requirement should remain part of the Information and Communications Standards. Likewise, any other educational requirement that the Information and Communications Standards Development Committee recommends should remain part of these standards if the future K-12 standards do not mandate a comparable requirement.