Accessibility is among the top key issues for 2018 in teaching and learning in higher education (Educause, 2018). It is important that course design and instructional materials are accessible by every student. Creating accessible course materials may take time. Fortunately, the systems we rely heavily on for teaching and learning have universal-design features built in. For instance, MS Word and PowerPoint have these tools:
- Accessibility Checker – identifying potential issues and providing suggestions for fixing them
- Alt Text – allowing the author to add Alternative Text for tables and visuals (images, shapes & videos)
- Title and Heading Styles: allowing the author to ensure the screen reader will read the document content in a logical order
The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) site offers “cheatsheets” on working with common computer programs to create accessible content. The Canvas LMS Doc Team has created a resource page, covering easy-to-follow design principles and tools for making documents and videos accessible. Faculty and staff are welcome to contact the Instructional Design & Technology office for train and assistance.