Prioritizing Accessibility in Courses

Through the lens of Universal Design for Learning, we understand that providing accessible course content benefits all students. However, there are certain instances where accessible course content is mandated and times where it is strongly recommended.

We have created the following list to assist faculty in making decisions about which courses to prioritize for remediation of existing content:

Accessible Content is Required:

  • When there is a student in the course with an accommodation through Student Disability Services
  • If the course is a traditional Web course (UM Online)

Accessible Content is Strongly Recommended:

  • In high-enrollment and pre-requisite courses
  • In courses required for a major
  • For at least the first two weeks of course content (to minimize the delay of accessible course content to students with a disability when an instructor receives an accommodation notice).

Important Considerations:

  • It is strongly recommended that all newly-created content comply with the Course Accessibility Guidelines (ADD LINK WHEN CREATED).
  • At a minimum, all videos should have auto-generated captions.
    • Panopto, the university’s video management system, is the recommended option for creating and hosting instructor-created videos because of the accuracy of the auto-generated captions and the ease of editing those captions.
    • When sharing videos from outside sources, please make every effort to find captioned versions of the video(s). UM Library has a repository of captioned videos, and YouTube provides a way to search for captioned videos.
  • Avoid sharing scanned documents (PDF files) with students. This prevents students from searching for text, copy/pasting, using assistive technology, and makes reading the file on a mobile device difficult. Instead, use an OCR-enabled copier/printer, Adobe Acrobat, or UM Document Converter to create an OCR’d copy.