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ADCET UDL Symposium: UDL, Technology, and Disability Support - “We influence UDL by being around the table...”

The recordings will be added here in late September

In-person presentation

Dr Jacquie Tinkler, Ella Dixon and Gene Hodgins, Charles Sturt University

Increasing numbers of students with cognitive disabilities and mental health conditions are accessing higher education each year, yet little is known about their educational technology needs or the extent to which UDL approaches impact their learning success.

This session presented the findings from a research project that explored how digital technologies and UDL approaches are used by university Disability Support Officers (DLOs) and Managers (DSMs) to assist online students with mental health conditions. The findings from the qualitative data gathered from nine Disability Support professionals werebe presented and discussed. These findings showed that the move to online learning during the COVID pandemic influenced how digital technology use for learning was considered, and the awareness and integration of digital technologies in ways that could assist students with disabilities became more widespread.

However, in the context of Disability Support Services, digital technologies were still often provided according to the needs of each student, due to licence limitations and the support model that is based on providing individual accommodations. Concerns that technology might be overused to the detriment of students’ learning, relationship-building, and study skills were also expressed including concerns that students with mental illnesses ‘needed to learn’ particular personal skills that technology was seen as replacing.

The role of Disability Support Officers and Managers as active advocates for students with disability and their need for accessible and inclusive use of technology across their university was also discussed. Finally, how these findings can inform and guide the future direction of technology-enhanced UDL implementation in universities was also presented.


Dr Jacquie Tinkler is the Sub Dean of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. Jacquie's work involves exploring learning design approaches such as UDL, and digital technologies in order to make university learning inclusive for all students, and she has a particular focus on students studying while living with poor mental health.

(June 2024)