Years 5 – 6
Lesson 7: Universal Design

ContentsEveryone, Everyday Program logo

1. Lesson Overview
2. Australian Curriculum Links
3. Lesson Plan: Suggested sequence of learning experiences

Downloadable reference materials

Lesson 7 Activity 1 [PDF] [Word Doc]
Lesson 7 Activity 2 [PDF] [Word Doc]
Lesson 7 Universal Design [PDF 353KB] [Word 1.9MB]


1. Lesson Overview

Length of Lesson

60 mins

Prior knowledge (what should the teacher have already covered)

  • Understanding of the concept of an inclusive community.

Resources Required

  • Digital camera.
  • Measurement tools.
  • Handout for activity 2 and clip board.
  • Electronic whiteboard to project examples of universal design.
  • Props (blindfold, wheelchair) and ICT devices for activity 2.

Key Concepts

  • If we use principles of Universal Design, everyone benefits from an accessible environment that creates opportunities for participation for all community members.
  • Thoughtful and considered changes in the built environment can help everyone to have a more attractive, safer and accessible environment.

Learning Outcomes

LO1: Students apply their knowledge of of Universal Design to give examples of its application in the real world.
LO2: Student use investigation skills to draw conclusions and make recommendations about accessibility at their school.

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2. Australian Curriculum Links

General Capabilities

By the end of year 6 (level 4)
L: Compose spoken, written and multimodal learning area texts: compose and edit learning area texts.
L: Express and opinion and point of view: use subjective, objective and evaluative language, and identify bias
CCT: Seek solutions and put ideas into action: assess and test option to identify the most effective solution and to put ideas into action.

Assessable moments: As students undertake the learning experiences described in the lesson, take note of a range of assessable moments to provide information about student achievement. Ongoing assessment will provide evidence of the extent to which students achieve the identified Australian Curriculum links. Assessable moments are linked to learning outcomes and are identified by the following identifier:

Assessable Outcome TickLO (insert number)

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3. Lesson Plan: Suggested sequence of learning experiences

FormatLesson Plan: Suggested sequence of learning experiences

Intro
1 mins

State the learning intention: To create inclusive communities, all people need access to places in which they learn, work and play. Today, we are going to look at accessibility and learn about what Universal Design is. We will then use a checklist to determine how accessible our school is.


Body
25 mins

Activity 1: Universal Design.

Resources: Lesson 7 Activity 1 [PDF] [Word Doc]

Establish context: When architects and town planners design buildings and spaces (inside or outside spaces) for people to move around, an important factor to consider is accessibility – that is – how easy is it for people to move around to get from one place to another.

When people design products that make everyday tasks easier, an important consideration is to design the product so it can be used by everyone. When people provide services to the community, an important consideration is how the service can be used by everyone. When the design of products, environments, programs and services makes it usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design, this is called “UNIVERSAL DESIGN”.

Teacher’s notes: You may like to talk about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – an approach to teaching that consists of designing course instruction, materials, and content to benefit a broad range of learners, including students with disabilities.

Show cartoon to demonstrate the concept of universal design A very simple example of universal design can be demonstrated in this cartoon (ie building a ramp instead of (or as well as) steps to enter a building). Everyone can use a ramp!

Further examples: There are many examples of universal design.

Show picture of kitchen, desk and chairs provided.

Assessable Outcome TickLO1 Class discussion: What adaptations do these chairs have to make them useable for most people?

Assessable Outcome TickLO1 Go through the following points and ask students to describe why these are examples of Universal Design

  • Installing standard electrical power points higher than usual above the floor.
  • Wider doorways.
  • Making flat entrances (ie no steps).
  • Installing handles for doors and drawers that require no gripping or twisting to operate – such as louver or loop handles.
  • Storage spaces within reach of both short and tall people.
  • Mobile phones with vibrating alert (once an expensive option for people with a hearing disability, or those in noisy environments, this feature now comes with most phones).
  • Text messaging and text–to–speech applications on phones (were once a breakthrough in mobile communication for people with a hearing disability, this feature is now hugely popular in the community, with text–to–speech available for people with a vision disability, or speech to text to communicate with a person who has a hearing disability. Eg – Dragon Dictation application).
  • Transport systems that have easy access for commuters (bus/train/plane). (50% of ‘Action’ buses in the ACT are now wheelchair accessible).

Assessable Outcome TickLO1 Class discussion: Can you think of any other examples of Universal Design?

Main point to highlight:

  • If we use principles of Universal Design, everyone benefits from an accessible environment that creates opportunities for participation for all community members.

30 mins

Activity 2: Accessibility report of our school

Resources: Lesson 7 Activity 2 [PDF] [Word Doc]

One element of Universal Design is accessibility in the built environment. To investigate the accessibility of our school, we are going to use an investigation framework that determines the why, when, where, what, and how of accessibility.

Teacher’s notes: You have the option of two different approaches to this lesson. Option 1 will relate to the handout for option 1, and option 2 will relate to the handout for option 2. Option 2 will require more time – up to 30 minutes longer than option 1. Option 2 requires students to experience access problems when they are either unable to use vision, or have lost mobility – either use of legs – using a wheelchair, or loss of use of arms. Make the point that there are accessibility issues for all other categories of disability (eg. when a person has a hearing disability and cannot hear instructions, school bells or warning signals, or when a person has an intellectual disability and has difficulty understanding written words on signage).

Assessable Outcome TickLO2 Handout investigation sheet (option 1 or option 2): Students work together in small groups of 3 or 4 to evaluate accessibility of spaces in their school . Refer to handout and discuss the activity using the WHY? WHERE? WHEN? WHAT? and HOW? framework. Groups identify examples of good accessibility and poor accessibility, and take a photo record to use in the report. Students will take measurements of doorways, passageways, gate width, car parking spaces (if in a controlled safe environment).

Option 1: (this table is included on the students handout)

WHY?

To determine how easy it is for people to move around in our school – that is, it’s accessibility.

WHERE?

We will investigate different areas of our school including our classroom, the main entrance, the foyer, car parking areas, the toilets, drinking taps, the library, the art room, the music room, the hall, the assembly area, the canteen, the oval, the playground, corridors etc.

WHEN?

We will base our report on times when the school buildings and grounds are used. Our school is used during daylight hours and occasionally into the evenings. Community groups use our school grounds on weekends.

WHAT?

We will conduct an investigation and complete the table. You may choose to refer to a checklist of things to consider when investigating school accessibility as a guide (provided over page). Also indicate on the table the level of difficulty to fix the identified problem based on cost, time and effort. The checklist does not include all areas that you will investigate.

HOW?

We will:

  • work in groups and record information in a table.
  • use our measurement skills (using measurement equipment) to determine specifications of space.
  • use ICT’s (eg.digital camera’s, flip video) to record images for our report and presentation.
  • record possible problems with access in table and generate possible solutions.

Option 2: (this table is included on the students handout)

WHY?

To determine how easy it is for people to move around in our school – that is, it’s accessibility.

WHERE?

We will investigate different areas of our school including our classroom, the main entrance, the foyer, car parking areas, the toilets, drinking taps, the library, the art room, the music room, the hall, the assembly area, the canteen, the oval, the playground, corridors etc.

WHEN?

We will base our report on times when the school buildings and grounds are used. Our school is used during daylight hours and occasionally into the evenings. Community groups use our school grounds on weekends.

WHAT?

We will conduct an investigation and complete the table. You may choose to refer to a checklist of things to consider when investigating school accessibility as a guide (provided over page). Also indicate on the table the level of difficulty to fix the identified problem based on cost, time and effort. The checklist does not include all areas that you will investigate.

HOW?

We will:

  • choose one person from our group to either 1. Wear a blind fold and experience navigating the school spaces (vision disability) or, 2. Use a wheelchair if available and navigate the school spaces, or 3. Navigate the school spaces without the use of one or both arm limbs.
  • use our measurement skills (using measurement equipment) to determine specifications of space.
  • use ICT’s (eg.digital camera’s, flip video) to record images for our report and presentation.
  • record possible problems with access in table and generate possible solutions.

Students use their presentation skills to present their findings to the class.

Main points to highlight:

  • Thoughtful and considered changes in the built environment can help everyone to have a more attractive, safer and accessible environment.
  • Changing the built environment to make it accessible is only one aspect of inclusive communities (physical access). Behavioural access (community attitudes and opinions) is another aspect that must be developed to make an inclusive community.

Conclusion and reflection
5 mins

Assessable Outcome TickLO1, LO2 Class discussion

What did you learn today?
Why is this important?
What questions do you have?


Additional
activities

Assessable Outcome TickLO2 Additional Activity 3: Advocating for change

Students present their findings from the accessibility activity and write a report to the school leadership team (or P&C) highlighting what they found, and provide recommendations for improvements.

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