UNESCO, with international, regional and national partners, developed the ‘Learning for All: Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learners with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning’ in 2016 to support access to quality learning opportunities for persons with disabilities through Open and Distance Learning by harnessing openly licensed educational resources (OER), peer reviewed journals (OA), and software (FOSS).It would be useful to mention early the purpose of the contract: “Update in light ofrecent technological advances in the area.
These Guidelines aim to support access to quality learning opportunities for persons with disabilities through ODL by harnessing open solutions (OER, OA, and FOSS). This document provides recommendations for governments, institutions, instructional designers, teachers and quality assurance and qualifications recognition bodies as well as industry and developers, families and most importantly, persons with disabilities.
The document consists of:
- a Matrix of Actions addressing issues that may be of value to educational stakeholders through the implementation of the educational delivery process.
- a Technical Annexes outlining available tools in this area.
- In view of the fast-developing nature of the technology field, the references to the technology tools in this document are intended to serve as a starting point for persons searching for ICT solutions. The issues covered apply to all levels of education, both formal and non-formal in a context of lifelong learning as well as targeting disability-specific and disability mainstreaming initiatives.Between 2017 and 2019, interventions to support the piloting of these Guidelines have been held in the Philippines, Malaysia and further interventions are foreseen in South Africa in 2020. To date these interventions have introduced the Guidelines at the institutional level and aimed at contextualizing the Guidelines at the institutional level, and supported the elaboration of an institutional policy document on standard procedures to make OER systematically inclusive to all learners.
- A workshop aimed at taking stock of the work done around this document was held in 4 December 2019 on the International Day for Persons with Disabilities 2019. The overall objective of this workshop was to take stock of work in contextualizing the ‘Learning for All: Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learners with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning’ to date and propose actions for its enhancement. The workshop brought together experts in accessibility from a number of UNESCO world regions at the institutional, governmental and non-governmental level.The overall objective of this workshop was to take stock of work in contextualizing the ‘Learning for All: Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learners with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning’ to date and propose actions for its enhancement. The workshop brought together experts in accessibility from a number of UNESCO world regions at the institutional, governmental and non-governmental level.
- Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of effective digitally enhanced learning opportunities, and in particular distance learning, while at the same time underscoring the need to ensure strategies that meet the needs of all learners, including those with disabilities.
- Under the overall authority of the Chief of Section for Digital Innovation and Digital Transformation (CI/IDIT) and the Chief of Section for Universal Access to Information (CI/UAI) and the direct supervision of the Programme Specialist responsible for Open Educational Resources (OER) and the Programme Specialist responsible for Digital Inclusion, the Individual consultant shall support the updating of the document ‘Learning for All: guidelines on the inclusion of learners with disabilities in open and distance learning (hereafter referred to as ‘Guidelines’) (https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000244355), and provide a proposal for its development as an online materials to be made available on the UNESCO website, with a special emphasis on the providing necessary support for countries during the epidemic or global pandemic such as the COVID-19.
- The incumbent will specifically undertake the following tasks:
- Conduct the data collection of at least 6 institutions per UNESCO region (link to regions) using the above-mentioned survey instrument.
- Interview Pilot Institutions Identify best practices and elements of impact from the contextualization of the Guidelines in ensuring distance learning strategies to support the inclusion of persons with disabilities in teaching and learning opportunities, including support and recovery response provided for learning with disabilities and trainers during the epidemic or/and global pandemic situations such as the COVID-19 as well as addressing gender equality and indigenous issues.
- Collect evidence on the standard practices and procedures applied during the epidemic and/or pandemic situations such as COVID-19 at national level.
- Provide a survey of the four most used technical solutions for the implementation of open and distance and how they address accessibility for persons with disabilities (information including where they are used, limitations and advantages)
- Provide a survey of the four most accessible technical solutions for the implementation of open and distance learning that is most accessible for persons with disabilities (information including where the solution is used, limitations, advantages)
- Summarize the outputs of the data collection, identifying elements to be included in a revised version of the Guidelines including new elements on pandemic and use of ODL to support learners with disabilities.
Recommendations of the 2nd Meeting:
- Summarize the recommendations of the 2nd Meeting on the Guidelines held on the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (4 December 2019) regarding the revision of the contents of the Guidelines.
- Prepare checklist of key actions for institutions and governments from the UNESCO Guidelines to be used to support the inclusion of learners with disabilities during epidemic or/and global pandemics such as COVID-19.
Review of the Technical Annexes:
- Review all resources in the Technical Annex of the Guidelines update links, identify new resources and corresponding web links and resources which are no longer functioning and propose the inclusion of new relevant tools.
- Include new content in or create new Technical Annex of the Guidelines related to the support and recovery for countries for inclusion of learning with disabilities during the epidemic or/and global pandemic such as COVID-19.
- Prepare a draft of the revision of the Guidelines based on points 1 to 3(b) above.
- Prepare a case study related supporting the inclusion of learners with disabilities during epidemic or/and global pandemics such as COVID-19. including gender equality and indigenous issues. The case study should be on emerging good practice and recommendations for policy makers on inclusive digital learning on COVID-19 and assessment; and the impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities, including indigenous people and young girls and women, access to remote learning during the crises.
Proposal for the Online Tool:
- Provide a proposal for the layout of an online tool to support the use of the revised Guidelines. The purpose of this online tool would be to share more widely the resources available in this document, and to ensure the possibility to exchange best practices in this area. This tool would reflect the revision of the Guidelines based on points I.1 to 4 above.
Delivery of a series of webinars
- Produce online training materials and resources in accessible formats for the webinars including ODL guidelines in general as revised based on points 1 to 4 above, technical annexes, a checklist of actions to be undertaken in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Deliver online training sessions using webinars modality at least four in different countries for the selected partners organizations by UNESCO partner on the revised Guidelines, Technical Annex, including a Checklist in connection to the support and recovery for countries for inclusion of learning with disabilities during the epidemic or/and global pandemic such as COVID-19.
- Report of suggested revisions to the Guidelines in English at mother tongue level, print ready, based on: data collection outcomes, draft Revision of the Technical Annexes, draft Checklist about the epidemic or/and global pandemic such as COVID-19.
- Draft revised Guidelines, proposal for the layout of an online tool to support the use of the Guidelines.
- Training materials for the 4 webinars:
- 4 PowerPoint presentations for each country providing a comprehensive overview of the Guidelines including technical guidelines and annexes;
- 4 video presentations;
- Checklist on the support and recovery required during the epidemic or/and global pandemic such as COVID-19;
- Case study on specific to the use of the Guidelines by persons with disabilities, including indigenous peoples, users of indigenous and sign languages, and young girls and women with disabilities.
- COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
- Accountability (C)
- Communication (C)
- Innovation (C)
- Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
- Planning and organizing (C)
- Results focus (C)
- Teamwork (C)
- For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.
- Advance university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Education with specialization in ICT in Education and/or use of technology for accessibility and inclusiveness or related field.
- Ability to work efficiently in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual environment and team spirit
- Demonstrated experience in communicating project implementation actions and results in a Multilanguage context.
- Knowledge of UNESCO/UN rules and procedure.
- Ability to implement communications and publications strategies.
- Advocates effectively.
- Communicates sensitively and effectively across different constituencies.
- Excellent communication skills, excellent writing skills.
- Demonstrated ability to conceptualize issues and analyze data to compile and synthesize information in coherent and succinct formats including preparation of learning and training materials.
- Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing.
- Excellent coordination and negotiation skills.
- Demonstrated ability to use office equipment with computer literacy in graphic design, publication. design, multimedia products development, web design, web content, etc.
- High attention to detail and ability to work under tight deadlines.
- Proven expertise and competency in writing concise studies and documents for international organizations in English.