Resources to Support Faculty in Creating Accessible Course Materials

Provost's Announcement on Accessibility Resources

One of President Hitt’s goals for the University of Central Florida’s is to be more inclusive and diverse. This goal is particularly critical in our classrooms, where faculty members encounter students with a wide range of backgrounds and learning needs each semester.

Because of my commitment to creating an inclusive environment for our students, I encourage our faculty to learn about the resources UCF provides to help us advance this goal.

While it is essential to continue to incorporate technology into the teaching process, our courses must be accessible and usable to everyone. A commitment to accessibility allows UCF, at minimum, to fulfill federal compliance requirements and, ideally, to incorporate approaches to course design that benefit all students.

If you have questions about how to make your course usable for all learners, please work with one or more of the offices below:

  • Student Accessibility Services: SAS (formerly Student Disability Services) facilitates academic accommodation efforts and is available as a resource for faculty when courses need to be accessible for students with disabilities. SAS can provide services such as creating a transcript of a recorded lecture, converting materials to Braille, and creating electronic or accessible files for textbooks and other text-based materials. In addition to technology access, SAS works with faculty on a regular basis to address barriers in a course, including extended time on tests, provision of various technology resources for exams, access to course notes through note-takers and different technology options, and interpreting and captioning services to name a few. For more information, contact SAS at 407-823-2371 or sas@ucf.edu.
  • Center for Distributed Learning: CDL assists faculty in designing and developing accessible online course materials, including captioning videos from transcripts. Course design information is available at http://cdl.ucf.edu/accessibility. Online faculty members are encouraged to work directly with their assigned instructional designers, which can be found at http://cdl.ucf.edu/teach-online/resources/instructional-designer-assignments/. General inquiries should be directed to 407-823-4910 or cdl@ucf.edu.
  • Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning: The Faculty Center can help faculty members create and design course materials and teaching strategies that accommodate a wide range of differences among students. The office offers workshops and one-on-one consultations with faculty on best practices. Contact the Faculty Center at 407-823-3544 or fctl@ucf.edu.

I wish each of you the very best during this new semester. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to accessibility and to excellence in instruction and serving our students.


Questions to Ask Regarding Accessibility of Instructional Resources

Are the videos captioned and audio recordings transcribed?

There should be transcripts for audio recordings and captions or subtitles for video. If there are not, ask the publishing representative if they would provide a captioned version in a timely manner if a student who needed them registered for your class.

Can all of the text that is displayed on the screen be read aloud by text-to-speech software?

Screen readers (assistive technology used by people who are blind) read real text. They cannot read images of text or text embedded in Flash animations/movies/simulations.

Can all interactivity (media players, quizzes, flashcards, etc.) be completed by keyboard alone (no mouse required)?

People who are blind or people who have upper mobility disabilities cannot use a mouse. They use the keyboard to navigate and interact with the Web. It is required that any interactive elements on the publisher's website (or on a DVD included with the book) be operable by a keyboard alone if they are used in your course. For example: An interactive exercise that requires dragging and dropping is not keyboard accessible, so unless there is a keyboard option to dragging and dropping, that sort of exercise should not be used in your course.

Is there any documentation available (VPAT or White Paper for example) that confirms accessibility or usability testing results?

A VPAT is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. It is used by many organizations to report the level of accessibility of their software products. If the publisher doesn't have a VPAT or any research that confirms the accessibility of their product(s), don't just take their word for how accessible they are.

If the faculty selects an online textbook, what is the process for requesting accessible text for a student with a documented print disability to have access to the online textbook?

What is the accessibility of the test/quiz banks of questions by use with screen readers and text to speech software programs? Which programs work with the formatted questions?

Are any discussion forums compatible with screen reading software and with alternative entry software, such as speech to text (i.e. Dragon Naturally Speaking)?

What screen reading software is compatible with the vendor’s proprietary interactive software or course materials site?

Does the institution have permission to make materials accessible? Will the publisher provide editable files on request?

What training is available to faculty on accessibility features, so that they are comfortable using them for instruction?

What is the process/response to technical help questions/needs for ensuring access for textbooks, online textbooks, online course materials, test/quiz situations, etc.? What is the expected response time (within 24 hours or up to two weeks)? Does the technical response also respond to the students and the Office of Disability Resources, not only the faculty of the institution?

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