July 7, 2011. In a climate of increased demand for online courses and increased federal scrutiny of regulatory compliance, it is increasingly critical that colleges and universities ensure the accessibility of their online course materials for students with disabilities -- and not only for online courses, but also for classes held in the physical classroom that direct students to pursue research online or access supplemental materials via a course management system.
Fortunately, significant gains in accessibility can be made with relative ease -- the key is to be proactive and plan for them early rather than after an issue is noticed. To learn more about the "low-hanging fruit" for accessibility of course materials, we interviewed two leading experts on the issue from Drexel University -- Dan Allen, content management specialist with Drexel's Office of Information Resources and Technology, and Jenny Dugger, director of Drexel's Office of Disability Services.
Allen and Dugger offer the following tips for:
- Vetting potential vendors for accessibility
- Coaching your faculty in making course materials more accessible