Creating accessible documents

At North Seattle College, we value an inclusive, diverse community. Disability is a part of diversity. It crosses every boundary and affects every group of people.  As more and more students arrive on our campus identifying as having a disability, their inclusion in events and activities becomes extremely important as they deserve the same opportunities to network and gain friendships as their non-disabled counterparts.

 ACCESSIBILITY RESOURCE CANVAS COURSE.

What is universal design?

As society moves from a medical model of disability which views disability as the cause of barriers to participation and is something that needs to be fixed to a social model of disability that acknowledges that the way our environment is created shapes the ability to be included and that disability is inherently a part of diversity and something to be valued, universal design will help drive necessary changes to inclusion. Its purpose is to help shape the world around us to be inclusive of all people by breaking down the typical barriers to participation from the ground up and plan for people with diverse needs ahead of time. For more information on Universal Design, check out this website: What is Universal Design from the Centre For Excellence in Universal Design.

Handouts: Students with print disabilities (learning disabilities and vision loss) may rely on assistive technology to read print. Whenever possible, have print materials such as your syllabus and handouts available in electronic format. Post them on the web or send them via e-mail to your students with this accommodation.  Occasionally, other versions such as audio, Braille, or enlarged text may be required. Disability Services will communicate with you regarding the appropriate format and provide support for this process. Converting print to alternate format can be time consuming and expensive - advance planning is critical, and your cooperation is appreciated.

Texts: As you review texts for future courses, look for books that are also available in electronic format. This information can usually be found on the publisher’s website or the preface of the book (under the “Student Resources” or “Students with Special Needs” section), and occasionally a CD version is provided for review. Disability Services staff is happy to assist you with this research.

Videos: Before ordering videos, check to be sure that they are captioned. Captioning can be added after production, but often at a cost of thousands of dollars! When captioning is not available, provide an outline or summary of the material for your deaf or hard of hearing students. Occasionally, a transcript can be obtained from the producer. Once again, please use campus resources including ELearning and Disability Services to support you with this process.

Notes: Making your lecture notes available online helps all students, but is especially valuable to students with sensory impairments and learning disabilities. If you already have course information on the web, or are planning to implement this, check with ELearning or Disability Services for resources on web accessibility. Certain formats (tables, graphics, etc.) may not be compatible with screen reading technology.