What do I need to do?
You need to adopt a slightly new approach to creating course materials by making sure all of your course materials are accessible to everyone, including those with visible—as well as less visible—disabilities or learning needs. For example: imagine that someone's monitor or audio may not be working. You should provide the material in a way that if one of their senses is not working (either because of a disability or a technology problem), they will not be excluded from learning the material.
Some examples might include...
- Scenario A: You have an international student in your class. The student can speak English well, but may occasionally need someone to speak slower or repeat themselves so that he or she can understand what is being said. You have a video that you use in your class, but the language is sometimes fast and the international student is struggling to understand the learning concept. An alternative teaching method would be to provide captioning or a transcript of the video.
- Scenario B: You have a student in your class who is blind. You have assigned a PDF as a reading assignment. The student will use a program, such as JAWS, to read the document out loud. However, the PDF was not set up to be accessible and the student cannot read the document. You may want to first create the document in Word, follow the steps to make it accessible, and then save it as a PDF and check to ensure that it is accessible by screen readers.
Read this "Course Accessibility Checklist" article to get started.
How do I...?
Create New Materials
(Guides provided by Loyola University Maryland and the National Center on Disability and Access to Education)
Evaluate Existing Materials
Where can I learn more?
DoIt - Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology
CAST- Universal Design for Learning On Campus
AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability