A review of the proposed Ontario Postsecondary Education Standard (AODA): Digital Learning and Technology Recommendations

Presented at 2:15pm in Independence on Thursday, November 9, 2023.



  • Jennifer Curry Jahnke, Principal Educator, AccessibilityConsulting.ca
  • Sambhavi Chandrashekar, Global Accessibility Lead, D2L Corporation

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


The Ontario postsecondary education standards development committee (PSE SDC) has proposed 185 recommendations. This session will give context around the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion that underlie all aspect of the committee's work and recommendations. We will explore the 21 Digital Learning and Technology recommendations and discuss how they came to be, and how postsecondary institutions can shift their policies and services to create accessible learning and teaching environments.


In the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2nd (2014) & 3rd (2019) reviews, the reviewers identified the need for a specific education standard to address the barriers to persons with disabilities when accessing education. In response the government formed two standards development committees: K-12 and PSE. The Ontario postsecondary education standards development committee was formed to address these barriers. From 2017 - 2022 the committee, made up of members of the disability community, experts from all levels of higher education, and relevant community members, came together to create a series of recommendations designed to "ensure that students with disabilities are welcome, feel a sense of belonging, and have an opportunity to participate in all aspects of postsecondary education without barriers" (Ontario.ca). Through these recommendations, our committee is hoping to achieve a transformation change, a shift in the culture of government, higher education, and society as a whole. As the work we did fell within the pandemic, it gave us the opportunity to challenge our assumptions and rethink our recommendations. It forced us to work differently and innovate. We believe that these recommendations, if embraced by higher education and embedded into the culture of our institutions, can move us to a fully accessible province and education system. This presentation will explore this process and provide an overview of the digital learning and technology recommendations. A discussion will follow about how other educational institutions can embrace these recommendations to make positive changes in their academic environments.


  1. Understand the process the PSE SDC committee went through to create this comprehensive series of standards.
  2. Navigate through the digital learning and technology recommendations as they apply to their postsecondary environment.
  3. Identify their shared responsibility for accessibility across their institution.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Legal, Procurement, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Jennifer Curry Jahnke

Jennifer Curry Jahnke, M.Ed., IAAP (CPACC) Jennifer is the Principal Educator with AccessibilityConsulting.ca - a collective of digital accessibility educators supporting higher education. She is an active member of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’s (AODA) Post-Secondary Education Standard Development & K-12/PSE Technical Committee, Accessible Canada Act’s Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Standard Development Committee, and the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). An award winning post-secondary educator and academic researcher. She is a full-time Professor and creator of Mohawk College’s former Accessible Media Production graduate certificate program and micro-credentials. Currently, supporting academic institutions to implement accessibility practices at an enterprise level and build an inclusive education environment. Jennifer is a passionate leader committed to creating a culture of accessible digital inclusion.

Sambhavi Chandrashekar

Sambhavi Chandrashekar is the global accessibility lead at D2L Corporation, a learning innovation company. She is a member of the AODA Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committee, the Global Leadership Council of the International Association for Accessibility Professional (IAAP), the Advisory Council of the Canadian Accessibility Network, and the W3C Silver Community. She holds adjunct professor/research supervisor positions at OCAD University, York University, and the University of Calgary.

Sam is a recognized accessibility champion and an award-winning inclusive educator/researcher with over 15 years of strategic and direct operational experience in implementing technology-based accessibility projects successfully in academia, non-profit sector and industry. She is passionately focused on humanizing online education and building an inclusive education ecosystem.