I've been in the field of instructional design and technology for more than 30 years. We've come a long way, but one thing I've noticed - We are definitely NOT on the forefront of understanding diverse learning needs. We almost work from the assumption, good instruction works for everyone; hence we don't need to worry about diverse needs.
Over the last few years, CU-Denver's School of Education has moved toward a more sharply defined mission to serve the needs of the Denver urban community. Urban schools have critical needs - we all know that. So what does that have to do with a technology program like ours, which focuses on uses of technology in multiple settings (work and school) at all levels (children and adults)? If a course is delivered online, how do you meet diverse learners' needs?
This post only sets up the question - How does instructional design and technology relate to diversity issues? As a starting point, I've got a collection of references on the subject; see:
Starred references are good starting points for discussion in this area.
I'll submit further thoughts on the subject in future posts.