Making Courses/Materials Accessible
Information for Faculty
In addition to Universal Design, there are many things faculty can to do make their courses and course material accessible. This page outlines tips for doing so in general and in relation to specific student accommodations.
On this Page:
- Accessibility Statements
- Tips for Creating Course Materials
- Online Content and Moodle
- Field Work and Field Trips
- Outside Resources
- Related Pages
Please use these statements as indicated in COPPS:
The purpose of these statements is to provide effective methods for communicating information to the college community about the Center for Accessible Resources, accommodations, and access to Lane's campuses, programs, and websites. These statements encourage students and community members to speak up about disability issues without being asked (which can violate their privacy).
There are 3 types of statements:
- Syllabus Access Statement
- Publication Access Statement
- Event Access Statement
As a reminder, not all students with disabilities reach out to our office for assistance. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the following guidelines when preparing learning materials for class.
- Font should be 12 point or larger and easy to read. Fonts from the sans-serif family (specifically Arial) is preferred.
- Avoid using green or red text.
- Avoid using “all caps” or italics when possible.
- Students using screen readers have difficulty using this technology if text jumps around too much on the page (textboxes, cartoons, thought bubbles, etc.)
- Accessibility statements must be included in the syllabus for each course per the COPPS Disabilities: Accessibility Statements for Students and Community Procedure
- Headings, a feature in MS Word, should be used. This format is the most effective and provides the highest quality translation for students using screen readers.
The NCDAE Cheatsheets webpage for Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc. is a great place to start for beginners. The WebAIM Introduction to Web Accessibility webpage and accompanying WebAIM Articles webpage that detail Word, PDF, form/survey accessibility, etc. are probably the most effective resources out there. WebAIM Accessibility Principles webpage and WCAG 2.0 Checklist webpage are great for accessibility testing.
For additional information, please visit the following websites:
DO-IT Video and Multimedia webpage - Guidelines for creating video and multimedia products that are accessible to people with sensory impairments
Instructors of online courses must determine how to best deliver content in a way that helps their students achieve the learning outcomes. There are many things that faculty can do to ensure that their online platforms are accessible for all students.
Moodle and My Math Lab
Moodle and My Math Lab’s philosophy incorporates Universal Design into their developments and attempts to make the platform user friendly for all regardless of ability. Learn more about this on their websites:
Personal and Other Websites
When choosing or creating a website for a course, it is important to consider accessibility. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Follow Best Accessibility Practices:
- Anytime a course contains a video, proactively include transcripts and captioning. This allows students of all learning types to have access.
- Offer multiple formats for complex information. Information can be represented in text, charts, graphs, etc.
- Conduct Accessibility Testing: The Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) allows instructors to test webpages to determine how accessible they are and identifies areas that need improvement. Instructors can check a site by uploading the URL and then WAVE automatically scans the site for various accessibility features. Visit the WAVE website to find out more.
For more information, refer to our handout:
Many classes will involve field work/trips for students. Some students many have disabilities that affect their participation in these events (mobility, hearing, vision, etc.). When planning field work/trips, try to think about the accessibility of these trips, including building access. Faculty are always welcome to check with CAR if they have questions regarding field accessibility. For more information, refer to our handout:
Who is responsible for making course material accessible?
- Faculty and CAR work closely together to ensure that course material is accessible to students. Universal Design offers some great strategies that can benefit all students, even those without accommodations.
- ADA Web Accessibility webpage
- DO-IT Video and Multimedia webpage
- PDF: Accessibility Responsibilities
- WAVE website