UIC Faculty Accessibility Resource Checklist for Digital Instruction

Accessible course content allows all students to have the opportunity to be successful in your course.  Accessibility in online instructional materials is not automatic.  Planning needs to be done for content to be accessible but resources and instruction on this page are designed to help with this process.

  1. Make sure that your syllabus is in an accessible format.
  2. All articles/handouts that are scanned into electronic file formats need to be accessible or easily converted to accessible formats.
  3. Make sure when you adjust fonts from 12 point or larger, the document is still readable.
  4. Are your PowerPoint slides accessible?
  5. If using Tables. Make line-by-line reading sensible. Summarize.
  6. Good color contrast is important for accessible documents.
  7. Pictures and graphics must contain descriptions that can be read by a screen reader.
  8. Content must have informative labels.
  9. Check to see if course software, online homework and assessment tools are accessible with assistive technology.
  10. Ensure that all instructional materials and web links are accessible before uploading and posting in Blackboard Learning Management System.
  11. Videos used or created for instructional purposes must be accurately captioned and audio described.
  12. Employ Universal Design principles when creating course materials.

 

  1. Make sure that your syllabus is in an accessible format.
    An accessible format could be a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file developed accessibly from a Word document.
    For more information on creating accessible Microsoft Word documents go to:  https://webaim.org/techniques/word/
    For more information on creating accessible PDF files go to: https://webaim.org/techniques/acrobat/converting
    A Word document that is created accessibly will be able to be read using screen readers and also have adjustable fonts that can be enlarged for those who have visual impairments.
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  3. All articles/handouts that are scanned into electronic file formats need to be accessible or easily converted to accessible formats.
    Underlying text of documents needs to be readable by assistive technology.   A description of the problem is at https://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/pdf-repair-perform-ocr.html   If text is skewed or characters are jagged, many times the document may not be accessible to people with disabilities.    If you have a hard time reading a document, most likely assistive technology will not be able to read the text.   If you cannot select text with mouse by dragging your mouse over the characters, the document is most likely an image only file that is not accessible.
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  5. Make sure when you adjust fonts from 12 point or larger, the document is still readable.
    Do not use fonts smaller than 12 point size.   Properly formatted files have scalable fonts that when you adjust the font size of a document from 12 pt. to 30 pt.  the document can still be understandable by people with visual impairments.
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  7. Are your PowerPoint slides accessible?
    A good example of how PowerPoint can be made accessible is at:  https://webaim.org/techniques/powerpoint/
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  9. If using Tables. Make line-by-line reading sensible. Summarize.
    Tables can be used for either layout or data purposes.  They both need to be accessible and Webaim has a good description of the issues related to layout and data tables at:  https://webaim.org/techniques/tables/
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  11. Good color contrast is important for accessible documents.
    Documents need to be accessible for those with low vision.  Tips and information is included on the WebAim page:  https://webaim.org/articles/visual/lowvision#highcontrast.
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  13. Pictures and graphics must contain descriptions that can be read by a screen reader.
    Both documents and web pages need to have underlying accessible text. These documents include PDF files, Word documents, and web pages.  Webaim has a page concerning this process of adding underlying text:  https://webaim.org/techniques/alttext/
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  15. Content must have informative labels.
    When creating documents, please label with informative description.   File names and document titles need to include information including the course, unit, topic, and any other descriptor to insure the content is properly organized and received by the student.
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  17. Check to see if course software, online homework and assessment tools are accessible with assistive technology.
    New technologies are available to help faculty with instruction and testing but some may not be accessible for students with disabilities.  Please call the Disability Resource Center if you have any questions on whether the software and online educational resource is accessible at 312-413-2183.  An alternative method of instruction may be needed if the software and tools are not accessible.
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  19. Ensure that all instructional materials and web links are accessible before uploading and posting in Blackboard Learning Management System.
    Blackboard LMS is accessible but the content posted in Blackboard may be inaccessible.  Use the principles listed above to ensure that course content and documents are accessible before uploading to Blackboard LMS.
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  21. Videos used or created for instructional purposes must be accurately captioned and audio described.
    YouTube videos and forms of instructional videos need to be captioned and audio described for accessibility purposes.  WebAim has a page discussing the issues of captioning and audio description:  https://webaim.org/techniques/captions/
    The automatic captions in YouTube are not reliable.  You can edit the automatic captions to make them accurate.  YouTube has a help page to assist you at:  https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2734705?hl=en
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  23. Employ Universal Design principles when creating course materials.
    There are guidelines to help you with universally designed instruction.  Go to UDL Guidelines web site:  http://udlguidelines.cast.org/
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The Disability Resource Center is here to help support you in making instructional content accessible.  Please contact Kevin Price at pricek@uic.edu or by phone at 312-413-2183 if you have any questions.