The Federal Government launched the much anticipated National Curriculum yesterday, and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has opened a Consultation Portal on its website to welcome public feedback.
The question arises - how accessible will the new curriculum be? Students with sensory impairments require curriculum support materials that are delivered in an electronic form to be accessible to ensure their full inclusion in the teaching and learning process. Captioning is the appropriate format for students who are Deaf or hearing impaired, and audio description (AD) for those who are blind or vision impaired.
ACARA states on its portal that the Australian Curriculum is an online curriculum that provides maximum flexibility in how the curriculum can be accessed and organisedâ€. Teachers and the general public need to consider this statement in the reading of the curriculum documents, with a view to ensuring accessibility for all students.
As reported in today's Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Gillard indicated that the Commonwealth has funded some curriculum resources, such as the $40 million it had committed for online curriculum materials in connection with its Digital Education Revolution policy. It is vital that these materials are available in accessible formats.
ACARA's Curriculum Development Process paper discusses the implementation phase of the National Curriculum, with a view towards school authorities and other bodies providing curriculum support materials and teacher professional learning opportunities for teachers to assist with preparation for implementation. The necessity for full access to the curriculum and its support materials for all students is paramount.
MAA is able to assist teachers and education bodies in their search for captioned educational material via our Accessible Education Database.
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