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Faculty/Staff Resources

Accessibility Supports for Remote Teaching

Research supports the benefits of accessibility for everyone, including fluent English users, people with ADD/HD or learning disabilities, English as a Second Language users, deaf students, and more. Information including links with additional instructions and tips on creating accessible audio and visual content and other accommodations in the online environment are provided. Feel free to contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) with questions regarding accommodations; questions regarding technical specifications are best handled by the Information Technology Division.

Accessible Documents

Documents provided on Canvas need to be accessible to students with disabilities. For documents created using the Microsoft Office Suite, the built-in accessibility checkers will provide feedback on errors and guidance on how to fix them. Scanned PDFs are not accessible. If possible, contact the library to find a digital version of the scan or create an accessible version using document tags or other tools.

Text Equivalents for Audio and Video

For any recordings, either audio or video, a text equivalent must be provided. For audio, this is a transcript; for video, captions. Use videos that are already captioned properly to minimize any delays in access through providers such as AmazonPrime, Hulu, Kanopy or Netflix. The best way to create a text equivalent is to write a script and record from that. However, if that is not an option, you can use auto-generated captioning tools like YouTube, Panopto, or DCMP to generate a transcript or caption file. You will need to edit the file to be accurate; auto-generated transcripts are typically only about 60%-70% accurate, which is unacceptable for students. See DIY captioning resources, Kaltura, or the instructions for adding captions in Canvas for additional information.

Video Conferencing

Make a text announcement in advance of a live video call informing students about the live meeting, and tell students to reach out to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) if they need live captioning as an accommodation. Video conferencing platforms (e.g., WebEx, Zoom, Adobe Connect, etc,) have varying features and capability. Depending on your preferred course design, test the selected platform to determine view options, participation features, and system access to ensure students are able to participate effectively. Faculty with students currently receiving captioning (CART) or American Sign Language (ASL) services through the DRC will be contacted directly with additional information to include service providers in the Canvas online platform.

Text Equivalents for Images

Any images included in the course site need a text description. This includes but is not limited to: infographics, tables, charts, and images. In documents, the accessibility checker will advise on how to add a text description. In Canvas, the image uploader has a field for alt text, which is where you can add a brief description of the image.

Online Exam Accommodations

The DRC will continue to provide exam accommodations for students who require specific software or equipment during exams in the DRC Testing Area. However, the DRC will not require students to complete the exam in our Testing Area if the exam for the class occurs online and/or the student does not require such assistance. Rather than completing the Alternate Exam Request Form, faculty should extend the online exam timer for students who receive testing accommodations upon request. Canvas has the capability to adjust the online exam timer for an individual or multiple students per exam. Detailed instructions are located in the Moderate Quiz section in the course page.

Further Information

If you’d like to learn more about creating accessible course content and activity in Canvas, check out this tip sheet or the Faculty Resources section on the Disability Resource Center website.