1D. Accessibility

Section 1: Toolkit

As courses move to online, there will be multiple accessibility concerns for students. You may need to talk to your class to determine if there are students who cannot access the internet from home, don't have a computer, are deaf or hard of hearing, are visually impaired, or have other particular accessibility needs. Please be sure to respect confidentiality as you request information about the supports your learners will need to access the course materials online. Some basic ways you can strive for universal accessibility include:

  • Make sure lectures are available as both text and audio. If you write your lectures out, make a recording so students with visual impairments can also access it. If you talk first, make a transcript ( YouTube has some limited capacity for this).
  • Keep text simple (no ASCII images!) for screen reader accessibility
  • Provide descriptive and contextual alt text for images
  • Do not provide your own scanned PDFs of readings. Contact Course Reserves, who will make an accessible scan. 
  • Accessibility Tips

An overview compiled by Yiu-Ting Siu including Classroom Best Practices, Documents Accessibility, Multimedia Accessibility, and more.

Northwestern Guide for more detailed information on making an online course accessible.

When you present slides, you can turn on automatic captions to display the speaker's words in real time.
This feature is available in U.S. English.


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