Recommendations for Faculty

Classroom Materials

Faculty are encouraged to consider accessibility in developing course materials, whether or not a reasonable accommodation has been requested. Consistently selecting accessible course material allows for reasonable accommodations to be implemented quickly, and can benefit all students, with and without disabilities (for example, a student with hearing impairment and a student with English as a second language may both benefit from captions on a video).

Faculty are also encouraged to consider including universal design learning (UDL) principles in their courses.

In order to proactively make course materials accessible, consider the following:

  • Confirm that video learning materials are captioned and/or have transcripts.
    • For all videos, whether they are self-created or captured from an external agencies, confirm that the captioning and/or transcripts provided are accurate.
  • Confirm that audio learning materials have transcripts.
  • Confirm that text books are available from a publisher in digital format.
  • Confirm that course materials (e.g. websites, interactive games, CDs, PowerPoints, etc.) provided by the publisher are accessible.
  • Provide written materials (including documents and PowerPoint presentations) in alternative accessible formats (e.g. audio, tagged PDF, rich text format)
    • In written materials, be sure to use:
      • Headings
      • Sufficient color contrast
      • Sufficient white space
      • Alternative text and explanation for pictures, graphs, diagrams, and other images
      • Easily readable font
  • Confirm that software and hardware used or purchased for class is accessible.
  • Confirm that websites used for the course are accessible.
  • If you have necessary course materials or activities that are not accessible to all students, consider alternatives means for those materials or activities to be available.
  • Confirm that library reserve materials are accessible or chosen from publishers who provide accessible content.
  • Confirm that math/scientific equations and/or formulas being provided digitally are created using MathML, which helps make equations accessible using a screen reader.

Additional Recommendations For Accessibility:

  1. Include referral information about the Access Center/Access Services in your syllabus and/or the university’s discrimination or accessibility policies.
  2. Provide multiple ways for students to communicate with you.
  3. Refer students to the Access Center/Access Services, if necessary (i.e. a student shares a concern about their ability to complete a task due to their disability).
  4. Work with the Access Advisor/Coordinator if you have any questions.
  5. Departments can keep a log of accessible materials for wider use within the department. This is especially helpful for classes that are taught by graduate students.

How-To Create Accessible Course Material

  • Close Captioning / Transcription for audio or video files
    • For students with an accommodation approved by the Access Center, Student Affairs – Disability Services, or Student Affairs Disability Support Services (depending on your campus), that office will work with faculty, and the closed captioning or transcription services, to close caption or transcribe video or audio files.
    • Video recordings offered and provided to the public must be captioned, and audio recordings must be transcribed; the department is responsible for these costs.
    • Closed Captioning requests (for material which is not closed captioned by the Access Center/Access Services) can be directed to the following:
  • Creating an Accessible Website
    • WSU Web Communications offers accessibility training sessions to website administrators, as well as accessible templates for webpages. Consider using the following:
      • Use heading for each section and subsection(s)
      • Create alternative text for images
      • Use captioning and/or transcripts for video and audio files
      • Use descriptive language for links (e.g. instead of using “More information can be found here,” use “More information can be found on the Access Center website”)
      • Consider whether the website can be navigated without a mouse, using keystrokes
    • Please visit WebAim for more information on creating accessible websites.
  • Creating an Accessible Document
  • Locating accessible hardware and software
    • Many manufacturers can provide information on their product’s compliance with accessibility regulations.  If you are unsure, please consult with the Information Technology Accessibility Coordinator or their delegate for consultation regarding accessible hardware. The coordinators are listed below:


Tony Opheim


Wendy Steele


Tim Larreau


Karla Ealy-Marroquin


Scott Fraser