- As a college community, we need to become more familiar with the diverse range of students who might be experiencing accessibility-related challenges in our college community. We are also looking for practical solutions that could remove or reduce those challenges for them.
- We need to consider the “Cognitive load ” imposed on students with a documented disability when they have to explain their accessibility need(s) every term, every year in order to receive academic accommodations.
- Students without a medically-documented disability don’t qualify for academic accommodations, even if they have accessibility-related challenges. We need to recognize that the medical-model of providing academic accommodations is not inclusive.
- Similarly, we need to acknowledge that academic accommodations are limited to courses and classrooms, but accessibility-related challenges also occur in other aspects of student life on campus.
- As a college community, we need to recognize that faculty and staff can experience significant stress associated with not knowing what accessibility-related challenges our students experience in their student life. Faculty and staff may be unsure of how to support students with these challenges or what to do to reduce those challenges.
In our planning and conceptualization of outcomes for this project, we began by asking ourselves:
- What if any Camosun student could communicate stories of their accessibility-related challenges and then those stories helped to create “learning tools” anyone in the college community could use?
- What if we could all become fundamentally more informed about what we don’t know but need to know to support accessibility-related challenges in our diverse student community?
 “Cognitive load is typically increased when unnecessary demands are imposed on a learner, making the task of processing information overly complex.”
(Definition retrieved in February 2020 from Psychologistworld.com)
We encountered this term throughout the 2018 NEADS report: “Landscape of Accessibility and Accommodation in Post-Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities”.