Accessibility Angle

As part of our regular Accessibility Angle series, Tania Heap shares with us some of the concerns that faculty voice to her and how she tries to address those challenges:

I often have conversations with faculty about the struggles of making their course accessible. Here are a few common issues that come up in our conversations: lack of time and resources, fear of losing academic freedom, frustrations over determining what ‘checks the box’ to meet ADA compliance versus what is a truly accessible, inclusive, and rewarding learning experience for all. We understand those frustrations and we want to hear them because we want to better help you. Here are just a few ways in which we can help you at CLEAR:

  • Meet us for a consultation, during which we can assist with anything that has to do with accessibility: if you are unsure if that PDF is accessible and copyright compliant, if you heard about an accessibility checker in Canvas but don’t know how to use it and what are its limitations, if you have good quality images and videos in your course but are unsure if they are accessible and are seriously considering removing them (don’t!)
  • Reach out to us to schedule a training workshop tailored to your needs or the needs of your department. We can come to your office. Whether you would like to learn how to create an accessible video, or create accessible equations, or a bit of everything because you don’t know where to start, we will try our best to make the workshop fun and informative.
  • Sign up for our online asynchronous accessibility training course in Canvas and learn about accessibility best practices at your own pace.

One way of making your course accessible and maintaining your academic freedom is by creating your own content rather than relying on third-party platforms and publishers. It may not solve the ‘lack of time’ challenge, but we are here to help. Don’t drop your images, videos, or fun games in your course if you are unsure of their accessibility, contact us first!