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A Quick Response to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

President Biden signed the E.O. 14035, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Workforce, which led to the Government-Wide Strategic Plan to Advance DEIA in the Federal…

A Quick Response to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

A Quick Response to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Mr. Hal McAlduff and Dr. Diane Bublak
President Biden signed the E.O. 14035, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Workforce, which led to the Government-Wide Strategic Plan to Advance DEIA in the Federal Workforce.

DAU responded with a DAU DEIA Policy. In the policy, Mr. Woolsey, DAU President, explained that it is his policy to promote DEI&A within the organization by facilitating and supporting a DAU culture that values and practices inclusion of all DAU personnel, students, and mission assistance customers.

Last week, a learner reached out to DAU and explained that when a Rise product is opened in MS Teams, a “Read Aloud” feature is active. The learner explained that having the material delivered through the Read Aloud function increased their learning. Hearing this important information for the first time, the course development team collaborated to determine the most efficient and effective way to incorporate the appropriate instructions into the course.

Adopting DEI&A principles across the university takes on a variety of meanings. Supporting a workplace that offers every individual the opportunity to attain professional goals and contribute to the fulfillment of DAU’s mission is paramount. This means that the faculty who develop curriculum must be responsive to the needs of learners in multiple and creative ways that appeal to all.

The DAU team developed a temporary template of screen shots and step-by-step instructions on accessing and utilizing the “Read Aloud” function. They developed a template to produce a video that can be used across the enterprise. Keep your eyes and ears open for this upcoming video.

This simple gesture did not go unnoticed. The photo accompanying this blog was selected for the instructional asset. Inquiring about its appropriateness, we got the following response, “It’s a very approachable look. It’s also a very relaxed look. Sometimes when you are in a professional learning environment, the visuals can be ‘stuffy’ and visuals set the tone of the material. Having friendly and relatable visuals helps the learner to feel welcome. When I saw it, I instantly felt like my learning style was accepted, and I felt like DAU was aware and respected [my learning style]… Thank you for hearing me.”

This is the essence of DEI&A. Being responsive to our learners, hearing their voices, and including them in the development process when possible.