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Instructional Accessibility

If you're not sure what instructional accessibility looks like, you're not alone. Many instructors have never encountered digital access accommodations, such as a student with a hearing impairment needing Zoom class meetings to be captioned.

Thankfully, we are in a new era of learning. Your class materials are likely being delivered electronically, and this situation has a benefit. Electronic information has the potential to open up access to more students, because paper can be a problem.

Imagine that you are a freshman, and you are in your first class meeting of your college career. The venerable professor walks by your seat to hand you the syllabus and greet you. However, you cannot read the syllabus because of a congenital eye disease, so you ask for an electronic copy in order to have software read the text aloud. The professor says that an electronic copy is not available and asks you to have your neighbor read it to you.

Are you cringing?

You might be thinking that the previous scenario couldn't apply to you because you always post your syllabus and class handouts to Brightspace.

That's great, but have you used the Word accessibility checker to find out what digital access barriers there might be inside your documents? If you post PDFs, have you used Adobe's Acrobat DC accessibility checker to be sure that they're ready for students using assistive tech?

On the left side of this page, we've created some resources to help you feel confident about the classroom materials that you are disseminating. If you have general questions about how to share materials through Brightspace, you can contact Vanderbilt's Brightspace support.