Instructional Resources for Academic Accessibility
In the move to online instruction, it is easy to become overwhelmed and in the rush to provide course materials, put aside Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles as well as practices that provide greater accessibility of this content.
Guidance towards the creation of more universally accessible materials is available via the following resources. For more information, refer to UVA Teaching Continuity guidance or contact the instructional contacts/design teams in your school.
Be sure to include alternate text (alt text) for graphics, photos, charts and other images in documents and understand when and how to identify "decorative images".
Providing this information allows a person using assistive technology such as a screen reader to understand what the purpose of the image is conveying. It also provides an alternative means to understand images when internet speeds prohibit the image itself from downloading.
Guidance from peers and other organizations:
- Penn State's Guide to Image Accessibility
- Image description guidelines from the Diagram Center
- WebAIM: Accessible Images
- WebAIM: Writing Alternative Text
Other Tips to Keep in Mind:
- Use descriptive wording for hyperlink text (e.g., “UVA Teaching Continuity” rather than “click here”).
- Use built-in accessibility checkers for your documents:
- Avoid creating PDF documents. Use HTML (e.g., placing content within LMS content pages). If you want a printable version (e. g., for a syllabus), attach a Word (preferred) or PDF document as a SECONDARY way to access the content.
Creating Course Content with UDL and Accessibility in Mind:
- Center for Teaching Excellence: 10 Steps to Accessible Digital Content
- UVA Digital Accessibility: Accessible Document Creation/Remediation
- National Center on Disability and Access to Education: Cheatsheets for Creating Accessible Content
- National Center on Disability and Access to Education: Creating Accessible Electronic Content
- UVA Collab: Creating Accessible Content
- General Accessibility Design Guidelines for Canvas
- Univ of Washington: 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course
- Univ of Washington: Creating Accessible Documents
- Univ of Washington- DO•IT: Universal Design of Instruction in Postsecondary Education
- CAST: UDL on Campus
UVA Teaching Continuity Resources
- UVA Teaching Continuity
- Center for Teaching Excellence: Teaching Continuity
- School of Nursing: Teaching Continuity
- Curry: Teaching Continuity