It is crucial that instructors submit their textbook orders early to allow time for production of the text in alternate format for disabled students. Syllabi, handouts and exams can also be produced in alternate format. Requisitions are usually due as soon as the schedule for a semester becomes finalized. See the Textbook Committee’s web site to view more textbook information.
Textbooks in Electronic Formats
Faculty should be aware that if they choose to use Open Educational Resources (OER), such as free eTextbooks, accessibility of the resources will need to be considered. The instructor should ask the publisher for a statement of accessibility. Instructors teaching online or hybrid courses (51% or more online) will need to discuss with the Assistive Technology Specialist the issues of accessibility for electronic resources during accessibility reviews.
The Textbook and Instructional Resources committee is working on solutions for accessibility reviews of OER.
DRD Support FOR FACULTY
The Disability Resources Department Faculty page provides information to help faculty learn more about the major disability groups and SRJC's collective responsibility to students with disabilities. It cites resources which can serve to increase knowledge of the various DRD services and assist faculty in working with and providing academic accommodations to students with disabilities.
Subjects covered include:
- Tips on teaching students with disabilities
- Suggested syllabus statements
- Universal design for learning
- Safety in the classroom
DISTANCE EDUCATION ACCESSIBILITY
Distance Education maintains a Web Accessibility site that describes the issues of web accessibility and offers instruction on how to make academic online materials accessible.
WEB ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS AND LAW
SRJC online and hybrid courses are mandated to follow Section 508 laws. The Section 508 rules are in the process of being updated. The governing agency, the Access Board has advised to follow the WCAG 2.0 rules, level A and AA. See a checklist for accessibility compliance that combines WCAG 2.0 guidelines for level A and AA with Section 508 rules. The Distance Education Assistive Technology Specialist will check all courses due for review by these standards.
Responsibilities for online and hybrid instructors
Instructors are responsible to ensure that their online classes meet SRJC accessibility guidelines. In order to accomplish this, they will be provided with assistance by the Distance Education Department and the Disability Resources Department
— Board policy 3.12.3P
The Distance Education Department contacts all online and hybrid instructors when they are due for accessibility review and will guide faculty through the process. It is ultimately the instructor’s responsibility to make online and web-based course activities and materials accessible to all students and be in compliance with applicable laws.
Course Management Systems Remove Some, But Not All Barriers
Although the course management systems available through Distance Education have basic integrated accessibility features, there are practices faculty can follow that will greatly increase the accessibility of their materials. Additionally, faculty and staff will often choose to enhance materials and delivery modes with the consequent need for first-hand information regarding possible boundaries to disabled students.
The Canvas Accessibility page lists the most common issues instructors need to be aware of and how to address them in our SRJC course management system, Canvas.WORD AND PDF DOCUMENT ACCESSIBILITY
In addition to creating accessible pages in a course management system, faculty should also be aware of the importance of making documents such as Word docs and PDFs accessible to visually disabled users who use screen reader software to get contents of pages read aloud to them. This is especially needed for documents that are vital to students and employees. Microsoft Office has an accessibility checker included in all PC versions since Microsoft Office 2010. Adobe Acrobat Pro (available to all employees and faculty using district machines) has a Web Accessibility Wizard to help check and correct PDF documents for accessibility compliance. See the following pages for more information on how to make documents accessible.
See information about accessibility for online course multimedia content (audio and video) on the Integrating Multimedia site (a sub-site to the Distance Education site). This page includes Distance Education policies for captioning and transcripts, as well as how to access the DECT grant to get your videos captioned. Explore the rest of the site for instructions on linking to and embedding third party multimedia, dealing with non-captioned third-party videos, and creating and captioning instructor-created media.
Consultations and Cycle of Review
- The Instructional Accessibility Specialist in Distance Education is available for consultations, reviews and to answer questions.
- Faculty are encouraged to contact the Assistive Technology Specialist in Distance Education for a consultation before creating online materials, or to have their existing materials reviewed for accessibility.
- All online and hybrid instructors will be contacted by Distance Education to comply with a six year cycle of review.
- Instructors teaching a course for the first time online will be contacted to meet for review (or consultation if their course materials are not complete) before the course is taught.
- See the Distance Education Policies page for more information on the Distance Education review polices and cycle of review.
- See the Distance Education Web Accessibility site for more resources on web accessibility.
Disability Accommodations in the Online Class
Access the Disability Accommodations in the Online Class page on the DRD web site to see descriptions of accommodations and how they are applied in the online learning environment.