Integrating Accessibility into Online Courses

Campus Technology published an article titled Your Course Accessibility Checklist providing a high level overview on the key aspects for integrating accessibility into online courses. It is important to take into consideration accessibility in course design. According to a survey of online webpages, “only 23 percent of pages were accessible”. Jason Khurdan from Rutgers University recommends the four phase checklist for integrating accessibility into online courses.

  1. Research Phase: There are multiple aspects to consider when designing an online course including input from the following experts.
    • Office of Disability Services

    • IT/LMS Management

    • Libraries

    • Classroom Support

  2. Development Phase: Consider the following in your course design:
    • Reading List – Publish the reading list as early as possible to allow extra time for student to locate alternate formats.

    • Accessibility Statement – Publish an accessibility statement in the syllabus with information contacting the Office of Student Disabilities and encourage open dialogue on accessibility.

      • Course Material Accessibility

      • Use Sans Serif fonts like Arial or Verdana and avoid ornate, cursive fonts

      • Make the font size larger

      • Only use black/white

      • Standardize with style guide, think Microsoft Word

  3. Design Phase: Focus on structure for your course design. Utilize the same navigation to increase accessibility. Select an LMS such as Edvance360 that is accessibility friendly to screen readers. Avoid using frames and add tags to images. If you use audio or video files include closed captions.
  4. Implementation Phase: Continually communicate with students. Provide information to additional resources for accessibility. Remember to be considerate of accessibility for exams.

To view the full article click here. Additional information on accessibility is available here.