ASL Interpreter helping a student and professor communicate in class
Professor presenting a slideshow to his class
Guest speaker, Ken Petry, speaks at a past Access MU symposium to a large audience
The varsity hockey team glides across the ice with members of the Best Buddies Choir

How To

How To and Why

Many people ask, why they need to make things accessible before asking how to make it accessible.  It is a great question and one that could have many answers:

  • Incorporates Universal Design
  • Provide Equal Access to all Students
  • It's the Right Thing to Do
  • It's Policy

One answer that can be given that is standard across most higher education institutes is the Quality Matters Standard of accessibility.  

Quality Matters Standard 8

Quality Matters Standard 8 addresses the accessibility elements of an online/hybrid course. Standard 8 includes the following sub sections:

8.1. Courses must incorporate ADA standards and reflect conformance with institutional

policy regarding accessibility in online and hybrid courses.

8.2. Course pages and materials must provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content.

8.3. Course menus and pages must have links that are self-describing and meaningful.

8.4. Courses must ensure screen readability.

Review Quality Matters Accessibility Elements - Standard 8 for more details and specific actions to take. qm8_accessibility_standards.pdf

Through the application of principles of UDL and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (See below) you should be able to design content and activities that meet accessibility guidelines and enhance learning for all students.


In the recommended resources provided below, you'll find more details on UDL, an accessibility assessment based on QM Standard 8, and links to Miami University resources on accessibility.  Included is an Online Accessibility Handbook with lots of quick tips on how to make your course materials more accessible.  

In the optional additional resources, you'll find links to resources from WebAIM which provide in depth information on web accessibility and the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.  Additionally, there's a direct link to CAST for more information on UDL, and links to the comprehensive DO-IT resources assembled by the University of Washington.

Points to remember:

  • If you have re-usable video in your online course, it must be closed-captioned.That takes time, so it must be completed ahead of time. Please work with your Instructional Designer on these.

  • If you create videos or screencasts to insert into your classes for one term only, please upload your script.

  • All .pdf documents must be tagged for screen readers so they are accessible for students with disabilities.

  • If you have students with disabilities who need more assistance, please refer them to the Office of Students with Disabilities.

Focus Focus: Improve Accessibility in Tomorrow’s Online Courses by Leveraging Yesterday’s Techniques (Links to an external site.)