Course Accessibility Guidelines


The Course Accessibility Checklist provides instructors with tools and tips to improve the accessibility of their courses. The checklist provides accessibility guidance for the most commonly used instructional materials along with the importance of doing so.

*Please refer to the Prioritizing Accessibility in Courses page for information on when these actions are mandated and when they are strongly recommended, etc.

Accessibility Checklist

Content TypeAccessibility GuidelinesImportance
Syllabus Accommodation Statement The Provost has approved the Syllabus Statement from SDS that must appear on all syllabi. All students are made aware of and become comfortable with the process of requesting accommodations through SDS.
Instructor-Owned Video or Audio1. Recommended: Use the university's video management tool, Panopto, to create video. It provides accurate auto-captions that are easy to edit for accuracy.

2. If using YouTube, use the built-in caption editor to edit the auto-generated captions.

3. If sharing audio content with students, provide an edited transcript with students.

*Other video hosting tools are not recommended unless fully edited captions are provided for videos.
Captions are necessary for students who are D(d)eaf, and they are also beneficial for non-native English speakers, students with certain learning and cognitive disabilities, and those viewing material in a noisy or quiet environment.
Video or Audio Sourced from a Third Party (YouTube, etc.)1. Verify that any video or audio used in supplemental textbook material is correctly captioned (i.e., contains proper punctuation and capitalization) and/or contains a transcript.

2. When sourcing videos from YouTube, search for videos that have auto-captioning.

3. When sharing a podcast or other audio content, make sure that the content contains a transcript.
Same as above (instructor-owned video/audio).
Instructor-Created Documents1. HTML is the "gold standard" of accessible documents. Use Blackboard's text editor to create accessible HTML versions of documents to share with students.

2. Avoid scanned PDF documents that are merely images of text.

3. Avoid using PDF documents unless you have Adobe Acrobat and use the OCR function and/or provide an accessible document alternative.

4. Use the Top 7 Accessibility Tips when creating Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and HTML documents.
Students using assistive technology must have properly designed and formatted documents in order to access the content in an equal and fully functional manner.
Supplemental Technology1. Use university-supported technology.

2. If you require students to use or access non-University-supported technology, please contact for an accessibility evaluation.
It is not only important for students using assistive technology to be able to fully access technology used as part of instruction, but utilizing technology that students are already familiar with can reduce cognitive load and allow them to better focus on the course content.