It is important that clients can read written materials that nurses provide. We have spent a lot of time in class talking about the importance of readability of materials, health literacy, as well as e-health literacy. When you are creating materials you know that generally speaking, readability should be at a sixth to eighth-grade level. You are now equipped to assess the usefulness, design, understandability, and actionability of various sources using appropriate tools.
However, I am not confident that we talked enough about making them accessible. Sure, you have completed some training about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). But … do you understand how important accessibility is?
If your client cannot access your educational material it is useless.
As you begin working on the creation of teaching materials, please remember to assess learner needs and preferences. In our class we did a learner preferences survey, which revealed that we need to avoid yellow, red/pinks, and blue in our materials. If I had not done that survey, I would have definitely used those colors and students would either need to suffer through it or muster up the courage to tell me they are having difficulty. Educators need to be proactive in assessing the accessibility needs of clients.
In the clinical setting, nurses need to make sure their clients can make use of the materials we provide. I believe that considering the accessibility of teaching materials should be part of the normal development process – NOT an afterthought. It is so much easier and inclusive to design materials the right way the first time. That is why I used the universal design for learning framework when I designed your class (CAST, 2018).
There are some universal precautions that you can take to make the lives of your learners easier. Please visit this toolkit for some top accessibility tips. If we manage to do it right, many learners will not feel the need to disclose that they have an exceptionality. Being mindful of accessibility for all learners before we create materials will help to create the shame and blame free learning environment that is so important for learning (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, 2012).
As humans, we are not perfect. My strategy has been to try and improve my process for developing accessible materials every time I create something. As a starting point, when delivering presentations in this class remember that a font size of 18 is the minimum recommendation. Your presentation will never look as good on the projectors in the classroom as they did on your computer. However, if you design your materials with contrast and color in mind they will still look okay. Before you do your presentation, post your materials for the audience (we have a discussion board for that). Another easy thing to do is caption your images. Remember that lifelong learning is part of being a nurse. Get some feedback from the audience so you know how you can improve for next time.
If you ever have difficulty with any of my slides or materials posted for any reason please reach out. I am trying to make everything easily legible but make mistakes.
Class: This week it may be tempting to skip class because the exam is over. However, the topic of motivational interviewing is emphasized in this course to help you on your NCLEX. Please consider attending!
Another thing: Your Potter and Perry text has a really good chapter on patient education (Edgecombe & Ayzengart, 2017).
About the reflections: I am really enjoying my marking. Sorry, it has taken me longer than a week to get them back to you. I am still working on it. They are so well done that I am taking my time to enjoy them.
CAST. (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/our-work/about-udl.html#.XWbBZOhKguW
Edgecombe, N., A., & Ayzengart, K. N. (2017). Patient education. In B. J. Astle & W. Duggleby (Eds.), Canadian fundamentals of nursing (6th ed., pp. 324-342.). Toronto, ON: Elsevier Canada.
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. (2012). Facilitating client-centered learning. Retrieved from https://rnao.ca/bpg/guidelines/facilitating-client-centred-learning