Top 6 Tips for Ensuring Accessible Instructional Materials

1.    Stay calm. Students often need text-to-speech readers to help with reading focus, comprehension, and concentration.  Creating documents in accessible formats is not a difficult process, but may be unfamiliar.  Be open to learning new skills and creative problem solving.

2.   Respect confidentiality.  AAS can not share with you the name of the student or specific information about the disability.  Students will present an Accommodation Letter to you during the first week of class.  Please discuss these accommodations in a private setting and avoid “outting” students with accommodation needs.

3.   Be proactive. We urge students to be in touch with you before the first day of class.  You may also choose to email your students and ask about any anticipated accommodation needs.   Students are not obligated to disclose at this time but many appreciate the gesture and choose to discuss their needs before class begins.   

4.   Stay organized. Anticipate needing accessible course materials in all of your classes.  Students with disabilities often change their courses weeks into the semester.  Students may also register with AccessAbility Services at any time during the year. It’s best to have your course materials in an accessible format before the semester begins so that you are not scrambling to make changes during the semester.

5.   Know your resources. You have many resources on campus to help with this process.  AccessAbility Services staff, LITS liaisons, DAPS, department administrative staff, and your departmental colleagues all may be able to help if you have questions.

6.   Collaborate.  This is not an exact science!  Course materials take many shapes and forms and AAS staff is happy to troubleshoot with you on tricky or problematic documents and materials.   Please be in touch with AccessAbility Services if you have any questions or concerns.