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Accommodating Online Learning

While online learning is one form of an accessible learning solution, it also poses a new set of challenges for some students.

Due to widely varied experiences associated with a range of disabilities, online learning may remove existing barriers for one student while creating new barriers for another. 

In addition to broad support provided by AAS, the university has an extensive suite of resources, tools, and services available to help ensure your online course is accessible.

Creating Accessible Course Material

Many digital documents used in a classroom, such as readings, are not accessible for all students. For example, many PDFs cannot be read by screen readers, as the text is not recognized.  See the university's Accessibility Guide for creating accessible documents to learn more. 

For online lecture materials, media captioning is a requirement--all media used in a course is to be captioned. The university's Accessibility Guide on captioning to learn how to caption your own lecture videos and ensure that other course materials are captioned appropriately. Also see the university's guide to  (google doc) Inclusive Teaching Online (external link)  for information about how to caption and capture transcripts on various platforms, including Zoom.  

If you have a student in your course who requires captioned media, they may need more accurate subtitles than those provided on free platforms such as Google Slides. Contact Library Accessibility Services as soon as possible to ensure access to course materials. The Library Accessibility team will work with everyone involved (the student, instructor, and AAS) to meet the student’s needs.

Universal Design & Flexible Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) makes learning more accessible for all students. While you still need to support all accommodation requests, UDL provides a flexible, proactive approach to classroom accessibility from course outline and assessment design, all the way to content delivery.

We discourage departments and instructors from using learning management systems or other online tools/applications that are not supported by the university. The university has a strict evaluation process for selecting online learning platforms which includes a thorough accessibility check.

Many online accessibility tools also benefit people who don't identify with a disability.

Tired of staring at your screen?

Try the dictation feature in Google Docs.

Listen to your text with Microsoft Immersive Reader.