The OPERA (Opportunity, Productivity, Engagement, Reducing barriers, Achievement) project, initiated by our Student Services department, seeks to embed a more inclusive approach to the way that we design and deliver information experiences at Kent.
Working in partnership with Jisc we adopted a different approach to removing barriers. Alistair McNaught from Jisc uses the analogy that a typical response to disabled students is to give them a ladder to get over barriers whereas we wanted to work on removing the barriers so that our students don’t need ladders.
The partnership with Jisc has afforded Kent the opportunity to refine, tailor and develop existing methodologies, confident that they reflect good practice derived from Jisc’s many years of leading inclusion initiatives.
Through the OPERA project we have demonstrated that we are an institution that values inclusivity through dedicated resource and the ability to assimilate inclusive practices into administrative and learning and teaching processes. The impact of the project is being seen in inclusive curriculum design, procurement, library resources, harnessing assistive technologies as productivity tools, web design, estates, hospitality, module and programme specification and a more pervasive inclusive mind-set.
The videos are available on the University of Kent OPERA project webpages.