Ryerson Faculty Conference: Notes on Engaging Every Online Student

The Challenges and Lessons of Creating Accessible Course Materials

  • Maureen Glynn, Yueh-Chin Ma, Digital Education Strategies
  • Restiani Andriati, Digital Media Projects Office
  • Diane Michaud,Library and Archives
  • Charles Silverman, School of Disabilities Studies

Universal design for learning

  • Planning for the widest range of potential users results in a better learning experience for all users
  • Be inclusive in your language and instructions
  • Provide a logical and consistent structure to your online materials
  • Ensure that your material is understandable e.g. unusual terms, abbreviations, pronunciations, etc.
  • Recommended: Multiple modes of representation, engagement, expression

Action plan for Legacy courses

  • Establish processes and guidelines
  • Retrofit legacy content
    • Course outlines: logical structure, properly formatted especially tables, meaningful links
    • Course content: a/v migrate media to ryecast with closed captions and transcripts

Document Accessibility

  • Machine readable i.e. selectable – can use OCR to make it so
  • Include descriptions for images/figures/tables
  • Proper heading structure


  • Closed captions (basic level = subtitles, only covers spoken)
  • Audio description ideally

IT Working Group

  • Working on making the IT environment accessible
  • Content (documents, videos, etc.)
  • Systems (LMS, HR, Student Management, email)
  • Process (policies and processes)
  • Align with AODA/WCAG 2.0


  • Includes LMS pages
  • documents to download (ideally multiple formats, beware of PPT)
  • sites sent to
  • media

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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