Accessibility Best Practices
Faculty should consider accessibility concerns and how to handle student accommodations when transitioning to remote teaching. The Department of Accessibility Services has prepared a list of faculty FAQs for this transition:
Please implement the following best practices:
In the case of a campus closure, some students may have difficulty meeting deadlines due to factors beyond their control.
Faculty should clearly state expectations, but they should remain prepared to offer flexibility in deadlines and requirements to students as needed.
This applies both to students who normally receive accommodations and to those who may face extenuating circumstances, including difficulty accessing technology, internet connections, and/or other family, travel, or health concerns.
Follow Remote Teaching Best Practices
- Speak clearly and slowly when lecturing or engaging in online discussions.
- Describe your slides and other visual aids in case any students have vision impairments or have temporarily lost video access due to poor internet connectivity.
- When recording and posting video, break lectures and material up into short, lively segments (ideally 5-10 minutes). This both keeps viewer's attention and makes videos easier to load and stream.
- For live sessions, always provide a dial-in option so students with limited internet access may still participate.
- Ensure that your Canvas course adheres to accessibility standards.
Use Captions and Transcripts
Use captions and transcripts as many students will need to review class materials, both lectures and live class sessions, repeatedly.
- Live Zoom class sessions should always utilize the cloud recording feature. Along with a video and audio recording, Zoom automatically generates a transcript for each recording, allowing students who are hard of hearing to review the transcript later. Instructors will need to share the link to each Zoom recording and transcript within the course Canvas site, ideally in a module created for that purpose within the course.
- Google Slides
- Automatic live captioning is not available within Zoom. However, faculty may use Google Slides (via screenshare) and enable live captioning within Google Slides. See Present Slides with Google Captions for more information.
- Canvas Studio
- The Studio tool in Canvas can also automatically generate captions for your videos, both those you record via Studio and those you import from another source.
Share All Materials via the Course Canvas Site
In addition to posting prerecorded lectures and live Zoom session recordings within Canvas, faculty should also share all slides, notes, and other relevant materials within the Canvas module for each class session.
Annotating your slideshow with notes will enhance understanding for students who are viewing the material on their own.
By keeping course materials and assignments centralized within Canvas, faculty will minimize student confusion and will streamline student access to all relevant aspects of the course.
You should continue to work closely with the Department of Accessibility Services to offer appropriate accommodations to students in a remote teaching situation. Creative solutions may include:
- Students with hearing impairments may use closed captioning and/or transcripts (see above).
- Students with fine motor difficulties may record and submit verbal, rather than written, responses.
- Students requiring extra time may be accommodated through Canvas quizzes.
- Students requiring a notetaker may use a technology like Sonocent Audio Notetaker. Students may find more information about the Sonocent service from DAS and on this site.