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Building Accessibility Into Your Course

When designing your course within D2L, you can go a long way towards making your class and web-based materials accessible to the majority of your audience by employing some simple methods, such as utilizing accessibility and assistive technology tools that are available within D2L, such as Readspeaker.

To help you design accessible courses, the CEL offers an accessibility-friendly Course Design Framework. Please reach out to the CEL for more information.

Disability Services serves otherwise qualified students and employees with disabilities. Services can include access to interpreters, note-takers, access to specialized software, test moderating services, and coordination of special needs such as more time or a printed version of an online test or exam. For more information, contact the Kutztown University Disability Services Office or see the Faculty Guide to Accommodations.

Design - General Guidelines for Improved Accessibility

As you are aware, designing a course for the online environment can be quite different from designing for a face-to-face course. When implementing the principles of universal design, keep your instructional methods and approaches simple, keeping in mind potential barriers to access. Below are some guidelines to consider when designing an accessible course:

  • Keep the design simple, clean, and uncluttered. Use alternate text tags for images. For example, you can add alternate text when you embed an image from the web. Doing this will mean that people who use a screen reader to read aloud about the contents of a web page will hear an auditory description of the image.

  • Rather than pasting in “raw” URLs, link to words that describe the link destination. Again, this will help people using a screen reader understand where the link will take them.

  • Use other formatting besides color (bold words, different size font) to distinguish between important items in your course. Changing the font size rather than using different colors will benefit those people who cannot differentiate colors.

  • Use the header style for section and topic headings. This allows people using a screen reader to navigate through the page by section rather than having to read through an entire page to locate a specific section.

  • Advocate the use of CTRL+ and CTRL- or CMD+ and CMD= to resize the text in the course for the visually impaired.

Captioning and transcribing videos

Additional Resources

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