Making Online Learning and Resources Accessible During COVID-19

Sheryl Burgstahler, DO-IT Director
A student uses screen enlarging technology on two computers.

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, institutions are converting on-site services and resources to online alternatives. DO-IT is doing its part to encourage these organizations to consider accessibility issues in these efforts. We encourage institutions to use accessible design, as well as offer accommodations as needed. Following is the message we promoted to encourage faculty and staff to consider accessibility as they are being asked to move courses, services, and resources online:

As you or your colleagues move courses/services/resources online, consider making them accessible to students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities. To do so, consult our IT accessibility website. Those new to digital accessibility should select the “Getting Started” link from that page.

Those looking for a short list of guidelines for making courses and websites accessible to individuals with disabilities should consult:

For each of our resources, our HTML version of the content is the landing page with a link to a PDF that people often prefer for printing. Although our PDFs are accessible as well, one option for units that push back on going through the process of remediation of their inaccessible PDFs is to post content in an accessible HTML page and from there link to the inaccessible PDF they already have.

DO-IT continues to create, update, and promote our resources to encourage all educators to design content with accessibility in mind.