Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI)

"From Where I Sit" Video Series

Watch the From Where I Sit Videos on the ATI Professional Development site.

"From Where I Sit" is a powerful video series of eight CSU students with disabilities who share their experiences in the college classroom. They tell their stories by answering five questions:

  1. What is your disability?
  2. What made you decide to come to college?
  3. What is it like in the classroom?
  4. What do you have to do to keep up with the class?
  5. What suggestions can you offer to faculty that will make their classroom more accessible?

A unique aspect of this series is the inclusion of faculty responses. A panel of faculty members viewed each video and discussed the issues raised. Their comments are captured and made available in the Faculty Responses section that follows each student's story. Including faculty responses highlights the need for dialogue and for serious consideration of what is required to support both students and faculty in creating a more accessible and inclusive learning environment.

From Specific to General

Each video represents one story and one person's experience. Even though two people may have the same category of disability, yet the impact and the experience of that disability may be very different, and consequently the needs will be different as well. This does not mean, however, that you won't see commonalities of needs and experience expressed by these students. Indeed, these students make many similar points, which suggest that some of the needs articulated may not be just specific to that student with that particular disability, but may be applicable to others with different disabilities and may even be appropriate to all students.

Universal Design

The common suggestions articulated by students in these videos point to instructional practices that may be helpful to all students. Universal design–mirroring the universal design movement in architecture and product development–is an approach to the design of products and services to be usable to the greatest number of people regardless of ability, age, or situation. Universal design in instruction addresses the need to create flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that accommodate learner differences. As we incorporate universally designed instructional practices, we help all students succeed while transparently providing the required accommodation for students with disabilities. For more information about universal design in learning, visit the CAST website. For resources at the CSU, contact the EnACT program.