It’s our responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations for students. There are some easy steps you can take while you’re building a course that can provide benefit to not only those who might need it but for all students.
In the context of course design, accessibility addresses the needs of all learners and is more than accommodating learners with special needs. There are some easy steps you can take while you’re building a course that can provide benefit to not only those who might need it but for all students.
What’s this about?
Section 508 is part of the 1998 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 with the purpose to eliminate barriers and provide opportunities for those with disabilities. The section requires all Federal electronic content to be accessible. Overview of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 504 and 508). The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created guidelines in 1997 to help guide online developers and ensure online resources are being made accessible.
Accessibility and Universal Design, is there a difference?
According to the Universal Design.com, Universal design is a more holistic approach to online design (or any kind of design, for that matter) that integrates good overall usability decisions as a design approach, rather than concentrating on converting or preparing individual materials to make accommodations. Information about how Universal Design applies to higher education. More Universal Design Resources.
Coombs, Norman (2010). Making Online Teaching Accessible: Inclusive Course Design for Students with Disabilities. Jossey-Bass. Retrieved January 14, 2012, from Ebook Library. Read Chapters 1 and 7.
The Accessibility Project: A community-driven effort to make web accessibility easier
10 Tips for Creating Accessible Online Course Content (handouts and recorded webinar)
Web Accessibility in Mind
Cifuentes, L. Alexandra, J., Guerra, L. and Weir, J. (2016, May 28). A Working Model for Complying with Accessibility Guidelines for Online Learning. TechTrends (2016) 60:557–564.
Massengale, L. R., & Vasquez III, E. (2016). Assessing Accessibility: How Accessible Are Online Courses for Students with Disabilities?. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 16 (1), 69-79.
Van Rooij, S. W., & Zirkle, K. (2016). Balancing pedagogy, student readiness and accessibility: A case study in collaborative online course development. The Internet and Higher Education, 28, 1-7.
Accessibility: Further Resources
- Teaching Tip: Introducing Blackboard Ally, a new accessibility tool
- Teaching Tip: Apply Universal Design to your course
- Teaching Tip: Building accessibility into online Blackboard courses
- Teaching Tip: Caption your course videos to benefit everyone
- Teaching Tip: Read from a script to make videos accessible
- iTeachU: Quality Matters Resources
UAF Instructional Designers
This page has been authored collectively by the experts on the UAF Instructional Design Team. Let us know if you have suggestions or firstname.lastname@example.org