Building and district administrators are central to implementing inclusive technology practices within education systems. By casting their inclusive technology vision, administrators cultivate a culture of inclusion. As instructional and systemic leaders, administrators design inclusive instructional systems that will achieve that vision.
Below are specific ways that administrators support an inclusive technology system.
District and building administrators develop and put in place short and long-term plans to help the district and individual buildings fulfill their vision and mission. Administrators help to:
- Create a community-wide vision by gathering a team of leaders, administrators, educators, and families to develop a vision that supports an inclusive technology infrastructure and accessible learning opportunities.
- Develop a strategic technology plan by bringing knowledge of national, state, and local policy to ensure the technology plan empowers educators to design learner-centered experiences, while also navigating required compliance activities.
- Measure progress for continuous improvement by allocating resources to data collection planning and analysis, and cultivating a culture of inclusive decision-making that honors the concept of “shared data” or “our data” across departments.
- Develop a professional learning system by allocating resources that include a mentoring and coaching program that establishes safe and supportive relationships between instructional leaders and new and veteran staff to continue to build skills.
- Partner and communicate with families by modeling quality family partnerships and communications and setting the expectation that all communications provided meet accessibility standards.
District administrators contribute to an inclusive technology infrastructure by setting policy and procedures regarding technology procurement in order to empower staff to support inclusive and accessible teaching and learning. Administrators help to:
- Personalize learning devices by setting district procurement policy and procedures that include requirements of accessibility features while taking note of specific instances that may require alternative device settings. Building administrators help by ensuring that staff understand the personalization features available to all students and staff.
- Unify inclusive technology decision-making by bringing a national, state, and local policy lens to committees of district leaders in IT, AT, and EdTech, in collaboration with students and their families, to provide insights on infrastructure decision-making.
- Provide accessible educational materials (AEM) by collaborating to create and implement policies with accessibility standards for educational materials and offering resources for educators to create those materials.
- Ensure student privacy and secure inclusive practices by creating, communicating, and enforcing policies and procedures for the security, safety, and privacy of student data.
- Train educators and staff to develop technology competencies that empower them to design accessible, inclusive learning experiences that integrate AEM and AT.
- Design learner-centered experiences by cultivating a culture of inclusion and promoting a vision of learner-focused instructional design that incorporates the district's instructional framework with inclusive technology strategies.
- Enhance technology skills by sponsoring activities for district leaders, educators, technology staff, and families to enhance and apply their EdTech and AT technology skills.
- Engage families in the learning community by empowering educators to create a safe space in their learning community for families and modeling quality family and community interactions.
Support families’ shifting role by providing educators with packaged tools and resources to provide to families to support the transition from sole advocate to parent support with regards to the availability and use of accessible materials and assistive technologies required.
District and building administrators empower educators to create learner-centered experiences that are inclusive and leverage technology to meet the needs of all children and youth, including those with disabilities. Administrators help to:
- Empower learners to actively engage by creating district-wide and building-based programs that equip students with technology to take part in learning activities and show their knowledge.
- Empower learners to make independent choices about technology options by establishing youth mentor programs.
- Empower families to support student learning by hosting learning experiences where families learn about their child or youth’s assistive technology, perhaps even from the children and youth themselves.
District and building administrators set policy and procedures to procure and design accessible assessments that are interoperable with assistive technologies. They also use assessment data to inform decision-making for continuous improvement. Administrators help to:
Procure accessible assessments by maintaining an assessment procurement policy with accessibility requirements, and training educators about assessment accommodations.
Support the design of accessible formative assessments by funding formative assessment tools (e.g., apps or software) that are accessible and interoperable with AT.
Collaborate with state testing officials by providing data-informed feedback about the accessibility of state-wide assessments for continuous improvement.
Analyze data for decision-making by using data to inform improvements of:
- Instructional design through modeling collaborative data discussions during grade level team and IEP team meetings.
- Programmatic design through guiding collaborative analysis of various forms of group data to determine appropriate shifts in program design and delivery.
- Systemic design through leading collaborative analysis of various forms of group data, including AT data, to determine appropriate shifts in service delivery and resource allocation.
- Include families in assessment accommodation decisions by deploying information for all families to understand the accessibility framework used to consider and provide accommodations for all learners.
- Include families in large-scale assessment administration by deploying information to educators and families on assessment expectations and practice opportunities
- Include families in data-based decisions by creating a culture of inclusive decision-making that honors the concept of “shared data” or “our data” when making decisions that will lead to instructional shifts, programmatic shifts, and systemic shifts.