The Inclusive Learning Pledge
This pledge outlines the guiding beliefs, values, and principles of inclusive learning experience design. We invite you to add your name today to show your commitment to building a more inclusive world, one learning experience at a time!
Inclusive learning experience design is grounded in the belief that everyone deserves equitable access to learning experiences where they feel represented, included, and valued.
We recognize that if learners do not feel represented, included, and valued in the learning experiences we design, those experiences cannot be engaging, meaningful, or relevant. Therefore, if learning is not inclusive, it cannot be effective.
We value people over profit or policy. This means we treat people with respect, kindness, empathy, and love. Furthermore, we work to educate and train others to do the same.
In addition, we celebrate diversity of all kinds. We believe learning opportunities must be inclusive, equitable, and accessible for everyone.
Finally, we recognize that systemically excluded groups are still being left out of and underrepresented in learning opportunities. These groups include individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) populations, and others.
Changing this significant imbalance requires a conscious commitment from learning and development professionals to continuously strive to build more inclusive learning experiences and environments. To do so effectively, we must explore and address our own biases and commit to learning how to be more inclusive.
We urge you to join us in making this commitment to the core values and principles of inclusive learning experience design.
Inclusive learning experience design is guided by our IDEAL values of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Love:
- Inclusion: We value workplaces and learning opportunities where everyone belongs.
- Diversity: We value and celebrate people of every ability, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, native language, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, size, marital status, neurotype, or other characteristic.
- Equity: We value fairness and justice for systemically excluded people. We recognize that L&D professionals have a responsibility to address systemic prejudice and implicit bias.
- Accessibility: We value people with disabilities and recognize that access to learning and opportunities is a human right.
- Love: We value people over profit or policy and treat people with respect, kindness, empathy, and love.
Principle 1: Inclusion is everyone's responsibility, and it's a moral and ethical obligation.
A workplace cannot be inclusive if only the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals care about it. In fact, we are all responsible for creating and maintaining environments where everyone feels represented, included, and valued.
Principle 2: We live our IDEAL values in everything we do.
Our commitment to our IDEAL values of inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and love is an ongoing process. We reject the notion of DEI as a buzzword, trend, or one-and-done training event. Our IDEAL values inform all our decisions, from learning experience design to hiring, onboarding, salary, and promotion decisions.
Principle 3: To be inclusive means leading with empathy.
We listen to, amplify, and seek to understand authentic voices from people with lived experiences different from our own. Thus, we include stakeholders and learners from diverse, marginalized, and intersectional backgrounds throughout the learning experience design process. These varying points of view inform our needs analysis, design, testing, and other decisions.
Principle 4: Inclusion starts with us.
L&D professionals play an integral part in shaping a company’s culture, from orientation and new hire training through competency building and leadership development. L&D professionals are agents for change. We use that influence to create a welcoming workplace environment where all employees feel that they belong.
Principle 5: Diverse representation matters.
Learners can recognize themselves in and relate to the learning experiences we create. This helps them feel like they belong and are safe to be their authentic selves at work. Furthermore, we don’t perpetuate harmful stereotypes.
Principle 6: Accessibility is a human right.
Everyone deserves equitable access to information and professional development opportunities. Learning experiences and environments that are not accessible cannot be inclusive or equitable.
Principle 7: Sound design is inclusive design. No compromising.
We will continue to use creative, engaging, and evidence-based instructional practices because we don’t have to sacrifice good design for accessibility and inclusion.
Principle 8: The language we use matters.
We strive to use inclusive language, always. We understand that language is ever-evolving, and we evolve with it.
Principle 9: We won't let pursuit of perfection get in the way of progress.
We may not always get it right, but we’ll learn from those experiences and do better next time. When we unintentionally cause harm, we will acknowledge the mistake and apologize. And we will learn, teach, and do better.
Principle 10: We invite input and welcome feedback.
We seek input from learners, employees, and other stakeholders from all backgrounds. Then we use the input to make our learning experiences and environments more inclusive.
We express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the inclusion advocates who have inspired this non-exhaustive list, as well as the creators of the Serious eLearning Manifesto after which it is modeled. Thank you to the amazing Meryl Evans, who inspired principle #9.
Many, many thanks to the following individuals who provided input to the draft version of the Inclusive Learning Pledge and made it infinitely better and more inclusive:
Take the Pledge!
Creating a more inclusive world won’t happen without the commitment of caring, compassionate people like you. Show your commitment to inclusion, equity, and accessibility by taking the Inclusive Learning Pledge with us and sharing it with others.
Inclusive Learning Pledge
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