How To Make Your Content and Curriculum More Inclusive

four hands of varying skin tones

I recently participated in a conversation about creating inclusive curriculum which was unfortunately deleted so I decided to reconstruct it. I’m re-sharing that feedback here so it can be a resource for people who are interested in inclusive content and curriculum creation because I think it’s important:

If a student comes to you with feedback that criteria imposed constitutes a barrier, take a moment to assess why the constraint is being imposed

Consider if the barrier needs to be there for anyone or if you want to make an individual exception. If a student would find using a tool, resource or different deadline helpful, can the whole group benefit from that also?

Consider if what you are trying to teach or evaluate could be assessed in a different way. An example of this would be a college degree as an entrance requirement. What are you trying to measure? Sticking with something for four years? What other examples could be provided to demonstrate commitment? Depth and breadth of experience? What combination of work experience could be suitable? Look at what the goal is and think about what other ways you can achieve it.

When a disability or family circumstance limits the amount of time someone can spend on something, if they are able to achieve something as effective in less time, penalizing them for having done so is ableist. This is like rewarding perfect attendance.

If your program has people saying “as a person with a disability, the way things are structured in your program are really demoralizing”, sit with that feedback. Is that how you want people to feel? Is that your brand experience? The customer isn’t always right, but it’s worth thinking about.

When developing inclusive content, consider engaging paid consultant or offering something of value to the people you engage to look at your situation. It makes sure you can feel good about the exchange energetically and acknowledges the expertise they have gained over the years through their life experiences.

When leading an inclusive community, honour the voices of marginalized people who have decided to contribute by not deleting comments. If they go against the TOS of the platform or your community guidelines, that’s one thing, but emotional labour given freely should be a community resource. It’s also worth looking at your guidelines if they swallow the labour of marginalized people.

I help brands show their hearts of inclusion through copy and content but in order for it to be truly effective, the brand experience of consuming content has to be consistent with the customer experience within your program. If you’re looking to learn how to make your copy and website more inclusive, download your inclusion checklist here.

How do you make your course material inclusive?

Freelance writer. Contributor at @BLUNTmoms, @HuffPostCanada, @UrbanMomsCa