Faculty Instructional Materials
SBCC strives to educate instructors on their role in providing accessible course materials to students with disabilities. Support in the creation and design of accessible materials is available through the Faculty Resource Center. Support for students needing alternate media is available in DSPS by working with our disability specialists to determine and achieve the preferred format for the student.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extends federal civil rights protection in several areas to people who are considered "disabled.” Based upon existing legislation, particularly the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Civil Right Act of 1964, the act states its purpose as providing "a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities."
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in recruitment, admission, and treatment after admission. To provide individuals with disabilities equal opportunity, it mandates that all recipients of federal funding make adjustments and accommodations in their programs and activities. Section 504 requires that each program or activity operated by the institution be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended 1998 requires Federal agencies to ensure that electronic and information technology is accessible. This applies to its development, procurement, maintenance, or use. Some examples: distance education, online courses, web pages, videos, student portals, kiosks.
California’s Senate Bill 105 requires that California governmental entities comply with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Assembly Bill 422 (California, 1999) codified in Section 67302 of the Ed Code.
AB 422 requires every publisher of printed instructional materials to provide those materials in electronic format for students with disabilities attending University of California campuses, California State Universities, or California Community Colleges and provide them in a timely manner at no additional cost upon the receipt of a written request and evidence of a student's receipt of purchase.
Distance Education Accessibility Guidelines for Students with Disabilities (2011), California Community Colleges.
“‘Accessible’ means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.” (Resolution Agreement South Carolina Technical College System OCR Compliance Review No. 11-11-6002).
- Identifying barriers and systemic issues that affect timely delivery of instructional materials to postsecondary students with disabilities;
- Discussing technical solutions that could improve timely delivery of instructional materials to postsecondary students with disabilities;
- Analyzing how to create and improve the use of instructional materials in your classroom.
- Instructional materials for students with disabilities must be timely in order for students to participate on the first day of class.
As an enrolled student, you may come across print materials that are inaccessible to you in a particular classroom format. To discuss formats that best meet your need you may request simple adjustments to some materials directly from your instructor or meet with a DSPS specialist to discuss more appropriate ongoing solutions for accommodation.
Images - Images are found in course materials: Power Point presentations, web-based technology products, course packs and textbooks. Images may be photographs, illustrations, graphics, charts, icons, animations, cartoons, etc. Students with print impairments may ask for images to be labeled with an “alt” tag in order to be read in the background with a screen reader or other text-to-speech technology.
Text -Barriers that text in course materials pose include: font size, size format, color emphasis, colored type, or varied layout on a website or in a learning management system. Students with print impairments may request text in Braille, or in a digital format with which they can use a software based screen enlargement program. This allows the user to have control in setting font size, format and other attributes. Students may ask for flexibility in the delivery of print materials so they are available in audio format. "Talking books" can provide audio feedback through human narration or digital output. Print can also be read by using a software based screen reader. Keep text in electronic format which is the most accessible and flexible should an alternate format be required.
Audio content appears in many types of course materials: audio found in course materials include: a variety multimedia materials. Students may ask for flexibility in the delivery of print materials so they are available in audio format. “Talking books” can provide audio feedback through human narration or digital output. Print can also be read by using a software based screen reader.
Video - course materials may include videos to convey history re-enactments, story examples, demonstrations or simulations in the classroom, movie clips. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may request captioned videos in order to have a text-based equivalent of oral information. Media to be captioned includes online video clips, DVD’s (check to see if it is time to swap out old versions of media) and videos created by the instructor.
Regardless of whether documents are created in Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, or another format, there are right and wrong ways to create documents in order to ensure people with disabilities can access them.
This video explains why and how to create electronic documents that are accessible to all users.
- Vidoe runtime: 11:36 minutes
- Year: 2016
- Source - University of Washington Do-It program
- Assistive Software Demonstration : ZoomText, JAWS and Dragon
Questions to ask publishers and textbook representatives
1. If I select an online textbook, what do you provide for students with disabilities who may need it in an alternate format ( such as digital text, enlarged print or braille).
2. What is the process for a student to receive an accessible format? Do you have a website link where students can go to request the alternative format? Sample disability request forms are should be available from publishers.
3) What is the accessibility of the test/quiz banks of questions? What testing do you do to ensure a student with a disability can access the content with the assistive technology such as screen readers for users who are blind.
4) Do you provide links to websites, videos or audio files with your online textbooks? Are the links descriptive? Are videos captioned? Is there a transcript for an audio file? Is there a text-to-voice function.
5) As an instructor you want to have a dialogue about choosing the best materials for your class that provide the broadest access for all students.
- Can students use assistive technology screen reading software to access contents of the book?
- Do you offer your own proprietary text to speech option built-into your textbook?
- Are videos and animations included in the textbook? Are they captioned or subtitled? Is there a transcript? Is the transcript visible along with video/animation?
- Discussion forums? Can a student use screen reading/text to speech software within the discussion forum? Using assistive technology such as the program Dragon Naturally Speaking?
- Workbook/worksheets/handouts? Can a student using assistive technology access content with screen reading/text to speech software? For example, JAWS screen reading software
- What screen reading software is compatible with the vendor’s proprietary interactive software or course materials site?
- What other standard assistive technology software is compatible (and usable) with the vendor’s proprietary interactive software or course materials site(s)?
- What training is provided to me as faculty using your online materials to ensure that all accessibility features are activated and engaged?
- What is the process/response time for technical help, questions, or additional to ensure access for textbooks?
- Does your support desk also respond to our disability services office if they need to intervene in support of me, working with the student in my class?
- Does any software need to be installed on student/college computers?
- How will students gain access to the materials?
- Do students need an access code for the online textbook? Does it expire? When does it expire? As the instructor, make the computer requirements explicit in your syllabus.
- What is the student actually paying for?
- Some students would like to own the material so they have it for future reference (rather than just online during the term).
- How will students gain access to the materials?
Canvas is a cloud based course management system used by many of our instructors for face to face, hybrid or distance education courses
- For a successful user experience the organization of your course is critical for ease of navigation with assistive technology
- Course structure can be aided by following the OEI course design rubric
- Learn more about Canvas through the Faculty Resource Center