Accessibility means that a "person with a disability is afforded the same opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use."
Course accessibility is essential for learning and required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Columbus State University has established the Columbus State University Online Course Accessibility Policy to clarify expectations for online course accessibility.
Ensures inclusion of all students
Accessible online content includes and empowers all students in learning. Course accessibility is an essential component of best practices in teaching. Improving the accessibility of course content enhances the usability of courses. Accessible course content, media, and documents make course information easier to perceive, navigate and understand.
Accessible media in addition to making course content perceivable to individuals with disabilities can help improve comprehension for learners who are not proficient in English, prefer multi-modal communication, and those in noisy or quiet environments. Captioning videos generates transcripts that are proven to increase comprehension and retention and can be used as a study aid.
COOL supports your journey
Improving the accessibility of online courses is an ongoing process and the Center of Online Learning provides support for your journey.
- Take a COOL SIP of accessibility by signing up for the Supportive Inclusive Practices workshop.
- Take a COOL DIP into accessibility by signing up for the Developing Inclusive Practices workshop.
- Visit the Training and Workshop page to see specific dates and times and to register for one of these workshops.
- Take a Deep Dive into accessibility by requesting individual sessions or a course review from our accessibility specialist, Ann Newland.
- Request captioning for your course media. Visit the Captioning Services page.
Guidelines for Building Accessible Courses
- Use the COOL QM Accessibility Template to provide course structure and accessible placeholders.
- Apply the Online Course Accessibility Guidelines when designing content.
- Check accessibility using Office accessibility checkers, CougarVIEW accessibility checker, or WAVE for web content evaluation.
- HTML course files are preferable.
- Convert Word to HTML (see Word 2016)
Microsoft office documents training videos
- Word 2016 and earlier
- PDF documents - Adobe training resources
- Convert Word to PDF (See Word 2016)
- Search for captioned, educational quality video on Galileo. Browse by type (multimedia), and try the Films on Demand or Kanopy databases. Contact a librarian for additional guidance.
- If creating educational video
- Provide narration describing all actions and visuals used in video.
- Request captions for faculty produced video (see captioning services).