Accessibility compliance can be a complicated topic, but you don’t have to limit your online course to plain text- the key is to plan ahead. You can use the the instructions provided on this site to retroactively make a course compliant, however using this site to help plan in advance will in particular make new course creation much easier. My advice is to not limit the types of content and methods of presentation you use, but rather choose the content type most appropriate for the information you are presenting. For example, PowerPoint slides may require several steps to make them compliant, compounded by the number of slides in the presentation. You need not eliminate PowerPoint presentations from your course, but rather limit them to times when that is the best way to present the material, and consider deleting slides that are redundant to information already presented elsewhere.  Similarly, video captioning can take time and/or money, so either use the streaming media services provided by the Library or, when that is not possible, limit your video clips to the shortest length needed to convey the required information. Below are some more specific tips and summary comments:

Syllabus: Provide a statement for students on how to register with the OARS office; be mindful of universal design when wording your learning objectives.

Text and Links: Use built-in formatting tools such as headers and lists; don’t rely on colors and tables to convey information; limit the number of external links/resources you provide- links require a lot of extra text for screen readers, and can also take up your time with monitoring for dead links; also, you cannot control the accessibility compliance for external sites

PDF, Word, and PowerPoint: Follow the same guidelines for text; create PDF files from digital documents instead of scanning hard copies; use templates for layout; use Acrobat Pro accessibility tools

Images: Add meaningful “alt” text; if the information conveyed in the image is already described in your text, the image can be considered decorative; if an image conveys more complicated/detailed information, consider typing the description in your main text so that all students can benefit

Quizzes: Follow same guidelines for text and images if used in quizzes; Use “Moderate this Quiz” to grant additional time for students on timed quizzes

Video: Video must be captioned and ideally should have a transcript if detailed descriptions are needed; make use of the Library’s streaming media catalogue whenever possible

Accessibility Checker: Use the Accessibility Checker for all information presented via the visual content editor in Canvas

Additional Resources

Contact your Instructional Technology Consultant for more specific course assistance.