Improving Accessibility: Developing Learner Agency

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Ryota Moriya, Otaru University of Commerce; Andrew Reimann, Aoyama Gakuin University; Shoko Moriya, University of Tokyo; Ryoko Sato, Reitaku University

As classrooms become more diverse, the understanding of learner needs has evolved to include both visible and invisible needs. Traditionally, reasonable accommodation has been limited to supporting students with physical or cognitive requirements. This has evolved to include support for social, psychological, emotional, and even economic difficulties. Resources and institutional support remain underfunded and underdeveloped; it is therefore paramount that teachers are able to diagnose, communicate, and empathize with students who are displaying a wider range of learning needs and difficulties than ever before. Through such teacher awareness raising, we can provide scaffolding for our students and empower them to be successful. The field reports, analysis, and examples described in this study demonstrate how diverse learner needs can be better accommodated by helping learners choose or develop better learning environments for themselves. The objectives of this study were to raise awareness of diverse learner needs and share potential coping strategies.