Field Trip Accessibility
This workshop will explore how field education can be more accessible and inclusive for students with disabilities or other students who may have difficulty participating in field activities. Participants will learn how to conduct a general accessibility audit of field trips and field courses, and how to think through and select appropriate solutions to access challenges by exploring the educational, affective and social aspects of field learning. This workshop will encourage participants to move away from a one-time "special case" model of accessibility needs to a more holistic approach that considers accessibility to be a core component of an inclusive field learning environment. The activities in this workshop are beneficial for people at all experience levels with this topic, from those just starting to think about access in the field, to those with significant experience in accessible field learning.
By the end of this workshop, participants will:
- Explore the models of disability and how they influence approaches to inclusion.
- Learn about the need, methods and approaches for more disability-inclusive field experiences.
- Become more familiar with the general process of reviewing a field experience for accessibility and addressing barriers in an inclusive and equitable way.
Please bring a laptop, tablet or notebook for taking notes and working on activities. Hard copies and links to digital docs will be provided for activities.
1:30 pm Welcome and introductions.
1:45 pm The need and importance of accessibility in field education, models of disability.
2:10 pm Types of Barriers, types of Access - viewing your field experience through the lens of accessibility.
2:30 pm Auditing for Accessibility: Use an example field course provided or better yet, bring your own syllabus or outline of field course*. Note: 20 minutes is not enough time to thoroughly evaluate a whole field experience. Participants will be encouraged to select one aspect or activity in the field course to focus on for this activity. You will be working in pairs for this activity.
2:50 pm Break
3:00 Solutions! Grouped by similar access challenges, small teams will brainstorm potential solutions or changes that could address accessibility issues proactively.
3:30 Groups report out and share ideas, challenges, actionable steps, etc.
3:45 Wrap-up and workshop evaluation.
If you want to learn more about this topic, the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (@AccessibleGeo) is a great resource with free membership. The GeoSPACE Field Course (@GeospaceUF) was designed from the ground up to be an accessible, inclusive geoscience field course. The EOS article, Creating Space for Geoscientists with Disabilities to Thrive, is a good starting point for issues impacting people with disabilities in the geosciences.