Disability Studies and Universal Design [for Learning]

An online Summer School organised by the Centre for Accessibility in the Global South (CAGS), IIIT Bangalore

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm from 24th to 28th June 2024

(Register HERE)


The Centre for Accessibility in the Global South (CAGS) is a research and outreach unit at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore. It aims to be a center of excellence and scholarship, bringing together academia, industry, government, Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), and change-makers working in the area of accessibility to study and understand the various concerns related to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the Global South and help in creating and disseminating effective solutions.

CAGS Summer School, being organized from 24-28 June 2024, aims to offer participants a space to deepen their understanding of accessibility and inclusion in institutions through sessions that will cover crucial dimensions of disability, with a specific emphasis on the needs of the Global South. The Summer School is structured as a short-duration certificate program in Disability Studies from the lens of Universal Design, which aims to encourage faculty members in higher education institutions and senior professionals to think critically about disability as a lived experience and a socio-cultural construct. Participants will also be introduced to Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning using which they can work towards making their organizations, both academic institutions and corporate workplaces, more inclusive.

The Summer School will also be of relevance to professionals concerned with diversity and inclusion (D&I) within corporate organizations and higher educational institutions as well as researchers from the academia and industry interested in accessibility and assistive technologies.

On successful participation in all the activities of the Summer School, a course completion certificate will be provided by CAGS, IIIT-Bangalore.

Who should attend?

Faculty members in higher education institutions and professionals from industry/corporate organizations interested in making their classrooms and workspaces more accessible and inclusive.

Outline of topics

Disability Studies: Disability studies is an interdisciplinary area of study that views disability as both a lived reality and a socio-political construct. Disability studies emerged from the activism of disabled people and involve both academics and activists from multiple disciplines and perspectives. Disability studies interrogate the concepts, cultures, and personal experiences of disability in relation to issues such as normalization, stigma, subjugation, body, health, difference, and representation. This module will go deeper into disability studies and their influence on universal design. It will cover a few relevant approaches and methodologies that have been used or have the potential to be used in the field of disability studies, with emphasis on technology and design with suitable case studies. This will also explore research and development in the field of assistive technology that has been and is being conducted in the Global South- what these technologies are, who has access to them and who creates these technologies.

Universal Design: Universal design is a way of planning and creating environments, products, and services that are usable by a diverse range of people, regardless of age, size, or disability status. Universal design aims to make spaces and products accessible to everyone without the need for adaptation or specialized design. This module will delve deeper into the concept of universal design.

Principles of Universal Design: The seven principles of universal design are: equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort, and size and space for approach and use. These principles can be applied to various environments, including learning environments, resources, and methods of instruction. This module will expand on the application of these principles of universal design.

Universal Design for Learning: Universal design for learning (UDL) is a set of three principles that underpin practices and curricula for teaching and learning. The UDL principles are multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation, and multiple means of action and expression. These principles promote the development of curriculum and instruction that include options for perception, language, expression, comprehension, physical action, expressive skills, executive functions, interest, effort, persistence, and self-regulation. This module will expand on the application of universal design in the context of learning ecosystems.

The Summer School may also include group activities and short submissions to provide an opportunity to the participants to apply the concepts covered during the sessions and relate them to their day-to-day work-life practices.

Instructors and facilitators for the sessions will be drawn largely from among the advisors and faculty members affiliated with CAGS, IIIT-Bangalore. Prof. Anita Ghai will be the overall Summer School coordinator; she will be supported by Dr. Manohar Swaminathan, Prof. Amit Prakash, and Dr. Laxmi Gunupudi. Other suitable external experts may also be invited for short talks and sharing of experiences.

Session timings

All Summer School sessions will be conducted online on Zoom or Teams. Live captioning and sign language interpretation (ISL) will be made available if required. The timings of the sessions are as follows:

• 24th June 2024 (Monday): 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

• 25th June 2024 (Tuesday): 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

• 26th June 2024 (Wednesday): 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

• 27th June 2024 (Thursday): 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

• 28th June 2024 (Friday): 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Application process

Please apply by filling up the online form available on the CAGS website, http://cagsiiitb.org/ or click the “Register Here” button below

• Last date for applying: Monday, 10th June 2024

• Notification of acceptance sent to shortlisted candidates: 15th June 2024

• Confirmation of participation and payment of registration charges: 20th June 2024

Registration charges

The registration fee for the Summer School is INR 5,000. Participants from not-for-profit organizations can opt for a subsidized fee of INR 2,000.

For any queries, please send an email to cags@iiitb.ac.in with “Summer School 2024” in the subject line.