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Trinity College Dublin Inclusive Curriculum Project – Trinity-INC

view of front square during freshers fair from regent house

A wordcloud made from the description of the Trinity-INC project

Commenced in October 2020, the mandate of Trinity Inclusive Curriculum (Trinity-INC) Project is to embed principles of diversity, equality and inclusion across all curricula at Trinity College Dublin. The Project Director is Dr. Rachel Hoare with Dr. Derina Johnson as Project Manager, and Sean Adderley as Student Partner Liaison Officer.

A project of the Office of the Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Equality, Trinity-INC works collaboratively across the College community - with staff and students, academic and support spaces - to achieve its goals.

Current Trinity-INC Activities

Blackboard Ally and Accessibility - Bitesize Training Series

Between 31st August and 28th September, Disability Services, in conjunction with the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project, are running three bitesized workshops for staff on Blackboard Ally and document accessibility.

What is Blackboard Ally?

Blackboard Ally is a tool that complements the main Blackboard VLE. With Blackboard Ally, students can download learning material in various formats such as Braille, HTML and audio. This can be a great help to students with accessibility requirements and others who would benefit from having the material presented in different ways – such as commuting students or busy student parents who may like to listen to articles or lectures on audio, for example. Ally does the conversion work automatically. All that is needed are the learning materials – in Word, PowerPoint or PDF – to be accessible. Blackboard Ally also shows staff how accessible their material is and what they can do to improve.

Register now for the third in the series: 11:00-11:30, 14th September 2022 - Ally and the PDF.

Benefits for Staff

  • Ally creates accessible formats effortlessly, allowing you to easily cater to your different students’ learning and accessibility needs.
  • Ally helps you make your document accessible from the beginning, halping you save time in the long run.
  • Creating accessible documents means that your teaching will be more inclusive.
  • You will be complying with Trinity’s Accessible Information Policy.

Ally for Staff (youtube)

Benefits for Students

  • Ally allows students to download course material in different formats to suit their learning and accessibility needs.
  • Students facing a long commute can download a lecture in audio version to listen to during the trip.
  • Students with limited access to technology can download an article in EPUB to read on their phone or tablet
  • Students who require a screen reader can download the material in HTML and avoid having to approach their lecturer for other formats.

Ally for Students (youtube)

2022-2023 Blackboard Ally Trainings for Staff

Want to learn more about Ally and the impact that it can have on your teaching? Disability Services, in conjunction with the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project, will be running workshops on Blackboard Ally and document accessibility.

  • 31st August 2022 - Ally and Microsoft Word. Learn about Ally, and how to make your MS Word documents more accessible.

    Watch Ally and MS Word on Youtube

  • 14th September - Ally and Microsoft PowerPoint. Learn about Ally, and how to make your MS PowerPoint documents more accessible.
  • 28th September - Ally and PDF. Learn about Ally, and how to make your PDF documents more accessible.

Why Do this Training?

These quick, bite-sized sessions will teach you all you need to know in order to make your documents easy to use for all students, regardless of their learning backgrounds, preferences or abilities. You will come away with tips and tools that are quick and easy to implement. You’ll also be complying with Trinity’s Accessible Information Policy and doing your part to make Trinity a more inclusive learning environment.

Register now for the third in the series: 11:00-11:30, 14th September 2022 - Ally and the PDF.

Recent Trinity-INC Events

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022

Pride Month Seminar - Friday 17th June 2022, 1-2pm: Queer Inclusion: In Higher Education, Healthcare, and Beyond.

The Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project and Faculty of Health Sciences EDI Group collaboratively held a Pride Month seminar on Queer Inclusion as part of the Trinity-INC Lunchtime Online Seminar Series. The seminar was delivered by Dr Duncan Shrewsbury (he/him), Senior Lecturer in General Practice at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, with contributions from EDI Group member and Trinity-INC Student Partner Aaron Koay (he/him) and Trinity School of Medicine Academic, Dr Lorna Roe (she/her).

Pride Month is an annual colourful celebration of love, friendship and community. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to detach Pride from its origin as a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall riots and the years of struggles and continued pursuit of social justice by the LGBTQIA+ communities worldwide. Although notable social change, such as the passing of the marriage equality referendum in Ireland, has ensued from decades of arduous activism, people from the LGBTQIA+ communities continue to face injustices and inequalities across all aspects of their lives in a society that is still structurally heteronormative and cis-gendered.

Drawing on his rich research, practice and policy experience in queer inclusion, Dr Duncan Shrewsbury discussed inequity and issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in higher education and healthcare and explored the importance of role models and allies, ‘Good’ allyship and active bystandership. Duncan also included some tangible examples and tips about how to embed queer inclusive practices in organisations and also how to emulate these practices on an individual level. Download Duncan's presentation slides.

Aaron Koay, Trinity pharmacy student and Trinity-INC Student Partner, responded to Duncan's talk, providing insights into the Trinity context and his experience as a student. Download Aaron's presentation slides.

Finally, we were delighted to welcome Dr Lorna Roe who provided a brief overview of an ongoing Trinity Equality Fund project on diversifying the Trinity medical curriculum to include the experiences of ageing LGBTQ+ people. Download Lorna's presentation slides.

Everyone who is interested in – or curious about – Queer Inclusion in higher education, healthcare and beyond should check this out!


Dr Duncan Shrewsbury (he/him)

Duncan is a salaried GP at Montpelier Surgery, Brighton and Senior Lecturer in General Practice at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, where he runs clinical and community practice in phase 1, and is the deputy lead for curriculum development. In general practice, he leads for the PCN for trans healthcare and has further interests in medical education and mental health. Along with a colleague from Bristol, he is the co-chair of the Society for Academic Primary Care.

Aaron Koay (he/him)

Aaron Koay is a registered pharmacist (MPSI) pursuing an MSc in Comparative Social Change in the Department of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin and School of Sociology at University College Dublin. He is also an incoming MRC DTP PhD Scholar in Public Health at University College London. Aaron graduated with a BSc Pharm (First Class Honours with Gold Medal; ranked first in the degree) and MPharm from Trinity, where he was awarded a Trinity Foundation Scholarship and Laidlaw Research and Leadership Scholarship. Aside from practising in community pharmacy, Aaron is Student Co-chair of the Faculty of Health Sciences Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) Group, Student Partner of the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project and Research Assistant at NatPro, Trinity Centre for Natural Products Research. Furthermore, he is part of the Immigrant Council of Ireland Migrant and Refugee Leader Network as well as GOAL NextGen Youth Network. Aaron has an interdisciplinary academic track record spanning biochemical, health and social sciences and he is particularly passionate about EDI in healthcare and higher education as well as tackling health inequalities.

In the first half of 2022, Aaron was awarded two funds to further his EDI work: 1) Funding from the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences to host Dr Brendan Dunlop (he/him), an expert in LGBTQIA+ mental health, from the University of Manchester as Visiting Professor to deliver the first event of the inaugural EDI event series; and 2) A Trinity Equality Fund to conduct an intersectoral project entitled ‘Stand Up, Speak Out! Racial Justice in Healthcare Education’ between Trinity and Immigrant Council of Ireland to involve minoritised ethnic healthcare students in Trinity as active stakeholders to inform racial justice strategy, policy, education and research directions.

Feel free to connect with Aaron on Twitter - @aaroncckoay!

Dr Lorna Roe (she/her)

is a Research Assistant Professor at the Centre for Health Policy and Management in Trinity College Dublin and a member of the health economics and policy research staff at The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).

She also holds positions as a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI); an elected member of the Board of Trinity College Dublin, an invited Board member of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Ireland, and a member of the Committee of the Irish Social Policy Association.

Lorna’s work focuses primarily on examining how systems and policies can better support older adults living with complex health needs, where the evidence shows care experiences and outcomes are often poor, while costs are high. She is also interested in exploring the intersectionality of social identities on the experience of ageing and on care experiences and outcomes. Lorna holds a Masters in Social Policy Research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is an alumnus of the SPHeRE programme; an integrated PhD programme in health services research and population health sciences. She holds a Certificate in Statistics from Trinity College Dublin and is currently the Principal Investigator of the FRAIL-COG study, a Health Research Board funded study which examines the impact of frailty and cognitive decline on patterns and costs of care.

Click here for more on Lorna's research interests.

Watch on Youtube

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022

Seminar 4 - Tuesday 7th June 2022, 1-2pm: Intersectionality and its relation to the teaching and learning experience of students in Higher Education, with Dr Philomena Mullen and Aliyah Sy

Intersectionality derives from a Black, feminist standpoint that foregrounds the axes of racism, sexism and classism experienced by black women. It has travelled across disciplines since then to frame other forms and categories of multiple oppressions. In this seminar, Dr Phil Mullen, Assistant Professor of Black Studies, Trinity College Dublin, and Aliyah Sy, Master's student in Identities and Cultures of Europe, Trinity College Dublin, will explore what is meant by intersectionality, and how it can play out in the experiences of students in Higher Education.

Many students who face issues related to underrepresentation and/or marginalisation within Higher Education (HE), do not face such issues in their singularity, but are confronted with a multifaceted connection between these systems (first-generation student, LGBTQ+, student parent, from a minority ethnicity, with disability etc.). These issues are often intertwined, overlapping and shaping students’ identity and experiences.

When seeking to reduce marginalisation and increase inclusion within their institutions, truly inclusive practices need to consider both students’ complex and multidimensional identities and the added pressures and barriers that HE can hold for such students.

The session is aimed at everyone seeking to understand and implement inclusion in Higher Education as well as other educational sectors and more generally.


Dr Philomena Mullen

Dr Philomena Mullen is a graduate in English and Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently Assistant Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Sociology. She spent 18 years working in the NGO-sector, a great deal of which was with the Irish Traveller Movement. She was a member of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) and formerly an Irish representative on the European Network against Racism (ENAR). She returned to Trinity College as a Government of Ireland PhD scholar to examine the racist and racialised aspects of how Black mixed-race women, who grew up in the Irish industrial school system without families, constructed their identity.

She is the co-Chair of the Race and Ethnicity Equality Working Group in Trinity College, and sits on the advisory board of Trinity Colonial Legacies Project. She is a Trustee of the Association of Mixed Race Irish (AMRI), and a member of African Scholars Association of Ireland (AFSAI). She is also a member of the UN IDPAD steering committee set up to work with the Irish state to implement programmes for the Decade of People of African Descent 2015-2024.

Aliyah Sy

Coming from a multidisciplinary background in languages, literature, and cultural studies, Aliyah Sy is currently a Master's student in Identities and Cultures of Europe, Trinity College Dublin, particularly implicated by issues of identity, inclusion, and diversity. A self-supporting student and a mixed-heritage woman from an underrepresented international background, Aliyah is happy to contribute to this event and to take part in the Trinity-INC project, to discuss and bring personal awareness of such issues.

Watch on Youtube

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022

Seminar 3 - Friday 8th April 2022: Universal Design for Learning: Applying UDL principles to your practice and discipline

In this practical session, Jean Reale worked to 1. Unpack the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), 2. Identify and map the UDL and inclusive practices that are already embedded in one's practices, and, 3. Explore how UDL can be easily applied and extended within ones discipline, with benefits for all students as well as one's own teaching and professional practices. Jean was joined by Trinity-INC Student Partners, Eimear McDwyer and Alice Payne, who shared their experiences and perspectives of UDL and inclusive teaching strategies as students.

Couldn't attend or want to learn more?

Start your UDL reflective journey:

Questions for Teachers

  • Engagement: How do you currently engage your students in learning?
  • Representation: What formats are your teaching resources in?
  • Action and Expression: 1. How do you assess? 2. Do you capture Student Voice?

Questions for Students

  • Engagement: How do you currently engage with your learning?
  • Representation: What formats are your learning resources in?
  • Action and Expression: 1. How are you assessed? 2. Do you feel your voice is heard in your current programme of study?

Questions for Support Services Staff

  • Engagement: How do you currently engage with students?
  • Representation: What formats are your resources in?
  • Action and Expression: Do you capture Student Voice?

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022 -

Seminar 2: Friday 4th March 2022 - "Meaningful Equality, Diversity and Equality in Higher Education Policy". Recording now available

For the second of our Trinity-INC Food for Thought lunchtime seminar series, Dr Ross Woods, HEA Centre of Excellence for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, joined Professor Lorraine Leeson, Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Trinity College Dublin, to discuss a vision for equality, diversity and inclusion within Higher Education policy.

Watch on Youtube

Trinity-INC Bitesized Training: Creating Accessible Content in a Blackboard Module

Thursday 3rd March, 2022 - Recording now available

As part of Accessible Information Week, Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project presented a Short-and-Sweet Skills Session focusing on how to create a clear, accessible module in Blackboard. Trinity-INC School Champion, Dr Jacqueline Whelan, School Nursing and Midwifery presented on her approach (Download PowerPoint presentation), with contributions from two additional Trinity-INC School Champions, Dr Joanne Banks, School of Education; and Dr Brendan O’Connell, School of English. Sean Adderley, Trinity-INC Student Partner Liaison Officer and recent Trinity graduate, spoke about the student perspective, while Dr Derina Johnson gave a brief overview of Blackboard Ally (Download PowerPoint presentation).

Watch on Youtube

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022

Seminar 1: Friday 4th February, 2022. "Do we really know who our students are? Understanding, implementing and embedding a culturally responsive pedagogy in our everyday practice" - Recording now available.

For our Inaugural “Food for Thought” Lunchtime Seminar, we were delighted to be joined by Dr Aminul Hoque MBE, and Trinity-INC Student Partners Amirah Ayinde and Fadilah Salawu who explored and unpacked the concept of a culturally responsive pedagogy and locate it within the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) narrative.

Aminul discussed three key questions: do we really know who our students are?Secondly, are we aware of the wider social, community and cultural issues that many of our students are living through? And finally, how do we get to know our students and ensure that their views, interests, lived experiences, aspirations inform and guide our pedagogical practices? Drawing on his own ethnographic research with young Bangladeshis from London and his anti-racist work with the National Education Union, Aminul provided insight into some of the lived experiences of exclusion and alienation that many BAME students from disadvantaged backgrounds live through. While he argued that these areas of disparity and disadvantage have become even more problematic during the Covid-19 pandemic, he also suggested some practical ways that educators can ensure that such students remain engaged and enthused in the higher education journey.

Aminul was joined by Trinity-INC Student Partners, Amirah Ayinde and Fadilah Salawu who responded to the issues he raised, placing them in the Trinity context. Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Lorraine Leeson, delivered the Welcome.

Follow Aminul on Twitter @BrIslam2015

Watch on Youtube

Trinity-INC and the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities

We had our first meeting with the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities not so long ago as a first step to involving the students from the centre in the Student Partner Committee. We got to meet all the lovely staff and students and introduced ourselves and the project which was very well received. We asked the students a question: 'what does inclusion mean to you?' Responses included: "To be involved and never felt left out"; "[Being] able to do things like everyone else"; "Always being included in class and group activities". Check out all the responses here.

International Day for Equal Opportunity

Recently, two of our Student Partners Fadilah and Amirah took part in a conversation for the International Day for Equal Opportunity 2021. Assya Hamdani, who hosted this chat, is a teaching assistant in the Department of French in TCD and recently joined a French collective called Different Leaders who hope to officialise Dec. 5th as the International Day for Equal Opportunity. The conversation is part of Assya's project with Different Leaders and focuses on the illusion of meritocracy in higher education. It is well worth a listen! Check out the full conversation here.

“Imposter syndrome and I are quite close friends (…) I think it also comes from the lack of role models in a sense because when a person from whatever minority background does achieve something, there is a kind of always this connotation that they’re the exception.” – Fadilah, third-year Law student

“I’d like to see black people being used in our textbooks. I’d like to learn more about the representation of illnesses in black people or people of colour as well (…) these are small changes that would make the biggest difference” – Amirah, third-year nursing student

Click here for an audio transcript of the podcast.

Learning in Trinity during COVID-19 - insights from Trinity-INC Student Partners

In a recent workshop, our Student Partners reflected on learning in Trinity during COVID-19. We asked them to consider 1. Trinity’s response during COVID-19 lockdown / restrictions, and 2. Trinity’s transition back to full capacity / hybrid models. While each of the students had their own personal experiences, there were also many common positives as well as negatives. The students also had suggestions for how Trinity could move forward in the current transition / hybrid space.

Learning at Trinity during COVID-19 - download the posters

See also! Our colleagues in the Trinity Library are a building a collection of personal records of life during the Covid-19 crisis, so that a detailed story of how this crisis was experienced by the College community can be archived for ongoing research. Read See how you can get involved

Trinity-INC Summer Student Partner Programme

Over the Summer of 2021, 18 students from across all Trinity faculties, at UG, PG and PhD level, came together for the Trinity-INC Summer Student Partner Programme to explore their experience of inclusion and exclusion within the curriculum at Trinity College Dublin. We asked them: What do you want Trinity educators to know about your experience? They responded with posters, presentations, podcasts, personal reflections and philosophical arguments, among other formats. These materials are available here on our website and used within Trinity-INC training.

Have a look at some of the student materials

Get in touch!

For further information contact, or check us out on Twitter @TCDInclusion or Instagram @trinityinclusivecurriculum