Accessibility Recommendations

On-line learning recommendations for Access for students with disabilities

When changes to the learning environment occur, creating an inclusive and accessible learning experience for students with disabilities is a top priority and an equitable endeavor. This includes providing and implementing accessible content that ensures the student disability accommodations are met.

Faculty and students should be prepared to discuss accommodation needs that may arise. The team at Disability Services for Students (DSS) will be available to answer questions about implementing accommodations.

Ensuring Accessibility of Learning Materials and Digital Content

This is a quick start list and brief overview a of how to get started creating and publishing digitally accessible course content. This webpage is intended to be a starting point for making documents and other digital content accessible to students who use assistive technologies to engage with your course content. Please find additional resources for creating accessible online course materials to ensure inclusive learning experiences on the Accessibility for Instructors page. Additional accessibility information for certain Elearning content can accessed on the Brightspace Accessibility information web pages.

Documents and content posted online require formatting

Heading Styles

Use descriptive heading styles to designate content organization. Using headings (e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2) indicates the hierarchy of content. Predefined style headings in text editors allow readers to more clearly understand the structure of your document or web page.

Text Styles

Use consistent text styles, sizes, and fonts. When using color, use additional shapes and patterns to emphasize or denote the differences.

Use more than color to denote differences, emphasis, and content meaning. In addition to contrasting colors, consider adding text, shapes, and patterns.


Check that text has a strong contrast against the page background. Providing enough contrast between text and the background enables content to be read by those with moderate visual impairments and in low light conditions. It’s recommended to use black text on a white background.

List styles

Use bulleted or numbered list styles to denote list structure.

Alt text

Provide alternative text for images, graphs, and charts. Descriptive alt text explains what is being illustrated and is read when using non-visual browsers.


Do not use tables to control format or layout. Format and use simple tables with row and column headers. Split nested and complex tables up into simple tables.


All videos, audio, and interactive media posted online must be captioned. Supply multiple avenues for multimedia content (e.g., audio with a transcript, video with captioning).

Request Captions

If you are making YouTube videos, make sure to edit captions as YouTube captioning is not accurate and will need to be added to and/or remediated.

Using the YouTube captions editor

  1. Go to your Video Manager.
  2. Next to the video you want to edit captions for, click Edit > Subtitles and CC.
  3. Click on the caption track you want to edit.
  4. Select a specific line in the caption track panel: On your keyboard, press the up or down arrow to adjust timing.
  5. Click Save changes.


Due to the university moving to online classes until April 3, we are asking students to contact professors to find out how exams will be administered for the class going forward. If your class will be taking the exams on Elearning, please make sure that testing accommodations are reflected.

Adjusting Exam Time Limits For Users


For now, DSS will continue to proctor exams as needed. If the class is taking exams via Elearning, accommodated students should have access to an accessible version via Elearing. If a student is requesting to take the exam at DSS, for assistive technology access or reader scribe access, DSS proctoring will be available for these specific request. Please note we are expecting reduced student staffing due to the universities recommendation. If a student no longer needs to take an exam at DSS, we are asking they cancel the exam room booking on the DSS-Accommodate portal. For exams that are not cancelled, we will assume additional accommodations are needed and continue our regular testing processes.

If you have questions or concerns regarding testing, please contact DSS (269-387-2116) or the testing coordinator, Kellie Skiba (269-387-2121 or