Successful interactions depend heavily on what we can see, hear, say, touch, learn, and remember. When done well, we can recognize more than just the barriers that people encounter. We also recognize the motivations that all people have in common.
—Microsoft Inclusive Design Toolkit
Three statistics highlight why creating inclusive course materials can be a challenge—and why it's best to focus on proactive design approaches that benefit all students:
- Only 11% of students formally disclose learning disabilities. (Source: NCCSD Research Brief)
- However, 20% of undergrads informally report disabilities. (Source: NCES study)
- And 43% of both groups have hidden, non-obvious disabilities. (Source: US Department of Education)
As the Inclusive Design Toolkit goes on to clarify, instructors also need to consider related limitations like "situational impairments, activity limitations, and restrictions on participation." Examples of these limitations include everyday situations like a short-term injury, reading on a small screen, or working in a loud environment.