Designing for English Language Learners

English Language Learners have diverse learning needs (WIDA, nd). Although they can perform as successfully as English native speakers, they must acquire specific language practices  in order to effectively interpret and produce English language. The Universal Design Learning approach supports that learning barriers must be removed in order to make a learning design accessible for all learners. International language students for example, might find themselves struggling when learning an additional language. Aiming to minimize this barrier, resources such as an English language centre could facilitate access to English language, as well as some cultural aspects embedded in a language. Inclusion framework designed for English Language Learners includes:

  • Application of effective linguistic scaffolding and Universal Design principles to the development of test items
  • Availability of flexible administrative considerations and universal tools for all students
  • Purposeful design and delivery of accommodations for students with disabilities (WIDA, nd.)  

We also attempt to use simple and clear language in the lesson plan, aiming for an introductory lesson that is accessible and applicable to students of all English levels.

Designing for Colourblind Learners

We are designing our Interactive Learning Resource to be accessible for colourblind learners by not utilizing colour-coding methods and by choosing a website design that is not colour-dependent for navigation. 

  • When navigating the menu bar, a box highlights the selected text indicating that it is a button.
  • When navigating blog posts, links are identified in square brackets to indicate they are clickable and appear with an underline when a mouse hovers over them. The exception is in the reference lists which present links with “Accessible at” before the link.

By using shapes to indicate clickable links, we remove the barrier of being able to distinguish different colours or colour contrasts to navigate our website.


WIDA (nd.). [Online]. Accessibility and Accomodations. Accessible at