Faculty Online Digital Accessibility
The Departments of Education and Justice issued an addendum on May 26, 2011, to the Dear Colleague Letter (6/29/10), reaffirming that “equal access for students with disabilities is the law and must be considered as new technology is integrated”, that “all faculty [including adjuncts] and staff must comply”, and that “the anti-discrimination obligations ‘apply to online courses and other online content’” (see Disability Compliance for Higher Education, Allan L. Shackelford, Esq.,Feb. 2013, Wiley Publications). Below you will find several resources to help you create online courses that are accessible to all students including those with disabilities.
Online Accessibility Statement
The following Online Accessibility Statement and associated contact information needs to be included in all Blackboard course sites and all course syllabi:
"If you need any special course adaptations or accommodations because of a documented disability, please notify your instructor within a reasonable length of time, preferably the first week of the term with formal notice of that need (i.e. an official letter from the Student Accessibility Services office). Accommodations will not be made retroactively.
For specific information pertaining to ADA accommodation please contact your campus Student Accessibility Services office or visit online at: www.tri-c.edu/student-accessibility-services/index.html. Blackboard accessibility information is available at: http://access.blackboard.com"
|Campus||Phone Number||For Deaf Communication|
|Sorenson Video Relay-ASL|
|Eastern||(216) 987-4344||(216) 223-6181|
|Metropolitan||(216) 987-5079||TDD (216) 987-4048*|
|Western||(216) 987-3900||TDD (216) 987-5117*|
|Westshore||(216) 987-4344||TDD (216) 987-4048*|
|Brunswick||(216) 987-5079||TDD (216) 987-5117*|
|Off-Site||(216) 987-5079||TDD (216) 987-5117*|
How Do I Make My Online Content Accessible?
There are numerous resources available at the College to assist faculty in the development and re-development of online courses and online course materials.
- Center for Learning Excellence (CLE)
- Leadership, Enrichment and Development (LEAD)
- Student Accessibility Services
- Video Captioning services
Ally is a tool that integrates into Blackboard to provide insight into Tri-C's course content accessibility and drive further improvements at the institution. Ally automatically creates alternative formats of course files based on the original. No action is needed on your part. These formats are made available with the original file, so everything is in one convenient location. Ally also provides accessibility feedback for faculty on how to make content more accessible by coding content with color gauge indicators. Students will not see the indicators. At this time, faculty are not required to work on their course accessibility scores and course accessibility reports will not be viewed by anyone other than the instructor for the course. For more information visit Blackboard Ally help for Instructors.
Closed captions are required for online and blended classes’ video content intended to be watched over multiple terms. Captions are not required if the video content will only be used for one term. It is the faculty’s responsibility to request the captions. Captions for videos stored on Tri-C's Mediasite server can be requested through your My Mediasite account. If you have a special request or other questions regarding closed captions for video, you can email OLAT at OLAT@tri-c.edu.
Captions are also available in PowerPoint 365 and Google Slides. To learn how to add captions to PowerPoint 365 presentations visit this Microsoft Support page or watch this short video. To learn how to add captions to Google Slides presentations visit this Google Help Center page or watch this short video.
Universal Design for Learning
There are many important aspects of online course design and development. Universal Design is an approach to the design of all products and environments wherein they are usable by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation. It serves people who are of all ages, with excellent or limited abilities, in ideal or difficult circumstances. Universal Design benefits everyone by accommodating limitations and ensuring maximum success by all students. These accommodations, in turn, allow for addressing a multiplicity of learning styles, which benefits fully-abled students as well as disabled students. Universal Design principles also connect to Quality Matters principles.
The links below provide an overview of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices, as well as specific information on the three overarching principles.
About Universal Design for Learning
UDL Guidelines in Full-Text
UDL Guidelines Overview
- Present information and content in different ways
- Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know
- Stimulate interest and motivation for learning
Quality Matters Principles & Accessibility
Tri-C is an institutional subscriber to Quality Matters (QM). This organization is a leader in quality assurance for online education, and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning.
The Quality Matters Standards also provide guidance for providing accessible online course content. Specifically, QM Standards 6.3, 7.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 address accessibility in the online and blended learning environments