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The 2020 **VIRTUAL** ATD-Central Indiana Chapter Learning Summit

Friday, November 20, 2020


Learning Experiences for All: Designing for Impact and Inclusion

When creating learning experiences, how often do you consider the power of your words? For many, learning experiences can miss the mark in many ways. Someone may ask for an alternative version because the original wasn’t built with accessibility in mind. Or the language in your learning experience may offend someone else. What steps can you take to create learning experiences that not only deliver on learning outcomes but create an environment where everyone feels welcomed? In this session, you will learn more about creating learning experiences for all and adopting an inclusive mindset and approach to learning design. You will dive right into the session by being a contestant on “Never Gonna Quiz You Up”, the only trivia game that promises to “never gonna be so mean and exclude you” as you test your knowledge about inclusive learning designs. After answering the questions, you’ll learn more about common pitfalls in creating inclusive learning experiences and ways to avoid them in the future.

You will also explore considerations for creating your content in an accessible and inclusive manner. Specifically you will learn about how to write content for screen readers, using descriptive links and alt text, and ways to write your content for all abilities. Additionally, you’ll learn about safeguarding your learning experiences from bias and microinequities, actions that subtly expresses a prejudiced attitude toward members of marginalized groups. Also you will discuss inclusive language considerations such as cultural significance, hierarchical barriers, and ableism.

Throughout this session, there will be examples demonstrated and you will have the opportunity to apply the content in this session to correct common mistakes and to reimagine how to create inclusive learning experiences. This will be facilitated through using polling software allowing for open responses and multiple choice items. You will receive multiple resources along with this session including a workbook and checklist to take back to your organization to analyze current learning experience offerings and guide future development.

In this session, you will learn:

  1. Explore considerations for writing your content in an accessible manner (e.g., writing for screen readers).
  2. Examples of microinequities and ways to avoid them in your learning design (e.g., power dynamics, communication styles, etc).
  3. How to use inclusive language in your learning experiences (e.g. ableism language that refers to able-bodied actions or using language that uses a disability as a descriptor, cultural significance, etc).
  4. What are common pitfalls in creating inclusive learning experiences and ways to avoid them in the future.

Cara North is an award-winning learning experience designer and has worked in talent and development for 10+ years working in both higher education and corporate settings. She is a Training Operations Manager at Silfex. North is also a Ph.D. candidate at The Ohio State University. She also serves as Past-President of Central Ohio ATD and Community Manager for the Training Learning and Development Community. A self-proclaimed social media junkie, you can often find her on Twitter (@caranorth11) & LinkedIn (/in/caranorth11).  

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