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OU’s new microcredential supports with accessible and inclusive online learning to disabled students

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The Open University (OU) has launched a new short course in its suite of microcredentials, designed to help education and training professionals across the world to plan, design and deliver accessible and inclusive online learning to students with disabilities.

Online Teaching: Accessibility and Inclusive Learningwill be hosted on the OU’s FutureLearn platform and is open for registration from today. Developed by leading academics in inclusive course design, the microcredential is aimed at those working or looking to work in universities, colleges, schools (particularly secondary) or wider adult learning settings. It’s also highly relevant to those with responsibility for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in their department or institution.

According to HESA, 331,170 students (14%) have declared a disability to a UK Higher Education Institution in 2018/19, meaning that most educators will engage with disabled students at some point in their career. With more disabled students than any other institution in the UK, the OU prides itself in being an expert in online teaching, accessibility and inclusion.

Through this microcredential, learners will develop pedagogical, technological, procedural, and legal knowledge needed to enhance the accessibility of online courses and will build a greater understanding of the diverse needs of disabled students.

Dr Tim Coughlan and Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman, both Senior Lecturers in the Institute of Educational Technology at the OU, have been heavily involved in production of the course.

Tim said:

“There has been so much good practice and cutting-edge research developed around accessibility in online learning at the OU. It’s a subject with growing momentum and I’m excited that we can use this microcredential to bring together the best of what we know in a format that will suit a wide range of educators looking to develop their skills.”

Timothy Plyming, Managing Director of Microcredentials at the OU, added:

“We’re delighted to launch this latest microcredential in our suite of online teaching courses, one which is so relevant and in direct response to the demands within the sector. Designed by leading academics with decades of experience in online teaching, accessibility and inclusion, the course supports educators in upskilling and improving to help them ensure first class delivery of learning to disabled students.

“The Open University’s central mission is to offer educational opportunities to all, and at a time when the pandemic brings additional challenges and barriers for people with disabilities, we are well placed to deliver this much-needed course. By sharing our expertise and best practise, we hope to strengthen the online learning landscape with further relevant courses that directly respond to the sector.”


Online Teaching: Accessibility and Inclusive Learning, is a postgraduate-level course, worth 15 credits. The course will begin on the 15 March 2021 and last for 12 weeks. Visit:


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Other OU microcredentials in this suite including, Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners Teacher Development: Embedding Mental Health in the Curriculum and Online Teaching: Evaluating and Improving Courses


Each course can be studied standalone or you can complete the full suite.

Contact us

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes