Creating more accessible courses

The UITS Assistive Technology and Accessibility Centers (ATAC) help the IU community use technology to provide equal access and an inclusive environment. When students with disabilities request an accommodation, ATAC specialists are available to advise instructors on their course content, alternative media formats, and other potential learning tools like software and hardware.

Some instructors have taken a proactive approach and asked ATAC to consult on their course design from the outset to create more accessible courses for all their students, not solely those who request accommodations. Below ATAC consultants and collaborators share four examples of how these consultations work, along with resources you might find useful in your own courses.

Knowing that all students are able to complete a laboratory experience is very important to me. I want to make sure that all students, regardless of their learning needs, are able to enroll in my course.

-- Gina Londino-Smolar (Example 4)

Example 1: Taking a hands-on approach to making course content accessible

  • Instructor: Terri Hardy, adjunct instructor of sociology at IU East
  • Consultant: John Ault, accessibility analyst at ATAC
  • Focus: PowerPoints, Word docs, video, and Canvas pages

Read John Ault's reflection

Example 2: Making an accessible math course one step at a time

  • Instructor: Deb Jaworski, lecturer in mathematics at IU Kokomo
  • Consultant: Destin Hubble, accessibility analyst at ATAC
  • Focus: Presenting math in Canvas, assessments, and videos

Read Destin Hubble's reflection

Example 3: Establishing accessibility as a priority at the departmental level

  • Departmental leads: Janna Hitzeman-Crampton, learning technology specialist, and Heather Waye Arle, instructional designer, Office of eSocial Work Education and Practice
  • Consultant: Sarah Herpst, accessibility analyst at ATAC
  • Focus: Building accessible courses from the start

Read Sarah Herpst's reflection

Example 4: Developing accessible online content, activities, and lab exercises

  • Instructor: Gina Londino-Smolar, Senior Lecturer, Forensic & Investigative Sciences; Faculty Fellow, Teaching and Learning Technologies
  • eLearning Design and Services (eDS) collaborators: Carrie Hansel, Maggie Ricci, and Caitlin Malone
  • ATAC collaborators: Chris Goodbeer, Destin Hubble, and Michael Mace
  • Focus: Everything from 3D renderings to 360-degree tours to tactile graphics

Read Carrie Hansel's reflection

More resources

Want to learn more about creating accessible content? For starters, be sure to check out 7 core practices that benefit all students. And for guidance on a range of content types, from instructional materials to social media, visit Accessibility.IU.