NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Accessibility Information for College Instructors

Introduction

Whether you teach online or in a traditional college classroom, chances are high that you will encounter students with disabilities who require accommodations. What are your responsibilities in providing the accommodations? How do you facilitate them? Here you will find information about the ethical and legal implications for college instructors, and also practical tips for a proactive approach to preparing and delivering course curriculum, information, and materials in the Youtube era.

Universal Design and a Proactive Approach

The principle concepts of universal design were first developed in the fields of architechture and engineering. The idea is to build a world that is people-friendly, a world that is usable by all, regardless of ability. We can all probably think of times when Universal Design has benefitted us, even if we do not have an identified disability. Automatic doors, elevators, and closed captioning on television programs are all examples of universal design in our daily lives.

As applied to education, universal design is a way of considering how to create learning environments that benefit all students. All students in a class are not the same. As individuals, we learn and excel and struggle in similar but different ways. Some students like printed materials, some want audio-visual. If multiple modes are made available, all learners will benefit, not just those who need special accommodations or have been specifically identified as disabled.

Checklists: Creating Accessible Course Materials

Although creating accessible electronic materials for a course can seem like a daunting task, there are actually some simple steps you can take that go a long way towards creating an accessible course. Use this checklist to evaluate the materials in your course.

Checklist 1: Accessible Video and Audio Media
Checklist 2: Accessible Blackboard Course Shell
Checklist 3: Accessible Microsoft Word Documents
Checklist 4: Accessible PowerPoint
Checklist 5: Accessible Adobe PDF Documents

Guide for creating accessible PDF's can be found online at:
http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/pdf/A9-accessible-pdf-from-word.pdf

Accessibilility QuickGuides