Here are some accessibility practices that are easy to apply when teaching with technologies or designing online/hybrid courses:
- consider using asynchronous delivery, which is more accessible for students of all abilities
- increase space and font size when creating electronic documents like a syllabus or worksheets
- use color with accessibility considerations (check your color contrast with the WebAIM contrast checker)
- add alt text for all images
- create accessible Word documents and accessible PowerPoint presentations
- use descriptive hyperlinks (e.g. do not link “click here”)
- chunk video clips, with meaningful bits, between 5-10 minutes
- caption your video clips to ensure they are accessible to all students
- use the Canvas accessibility checker (see this guide from the Canvas Community)
- refer to the Canvas Accessibility Guidelines for more information.
Extra time for quizzes or exams in Canvas:
Some students who have registered for accommodations through JMU’s Office of Disability Services (ODS) may require extra time in Canvas quizzes, exams, or tests. Learn how to do that on the Canvas website.
To set extra time in Canvas quizzes/exams for students with accommodations through ODS, follow these instructions on the Canvas website.
ODS and the Libraries recommend, as a matter of universal design, that you include the standard test time in the description box of the test with your instructions. This accomplishes two things: (1) all students will know how long they have to take the test, and (2) it allows students with extended time to check and ensure that their extended time has been applied before entering the test, alleviating confusion.
Extra time for assignments in Canvas:
Some students registered with the Office of Disability Services may have a disability that impacts their ability to complete assignments on time. If this is the case, they will have an accommodation related to assignment deadlines listed on their Access Plan letter.
To set extra time for Canvas assignments for students with accommodations through ODS, follow these instructions from Canvas on assigning and assignment to an individual student, which is one way to give a student with assignment accomodations a custom due date.
More JMU resources for accessibility and hybrid/online teaching
- Keep Choosing Accessible Learning Materials (CALM) from the Office of Disability Services
- SensusAccess is a self-service alternate media solution for educational institutions. It allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille. For more information, see the SensusAccess e-Learning Course.
- Best Practices for Creating Accessible PowerPoints and Inclusive Presentations
- Accessible Event Planning at JMU
- Accessibility at JMU Libraries
Get personalized support
For support applying accessibility and universal design practices in your teaching, request a consultation with one of our instructional designers.