Checklist to Evaluate Course Materials for Accessibility

SAS checklist for faculty (PDF File)

General Information

Student Accessibility Services coordinates a variety of services for students with disabilities and provides faculty, staff and students with information and assistance in meeting the requirements of:

    • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1978
    • Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1990
    • Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008.

 

According to a 2012 federal study, students with disabilities represented about 11 percent of all postsecondary students.  With recent advancements in computer technology as well as wounded warriors enrolling, this percentage continues to increase.  While this may be a relatively small segment of students in your classroom, it is important all students have equal access.

“Access” can have different meanings for different disabilities.  Listed below are some examples:

-Learning Disabled – extended time on tests, note takers, read materials with text to speech reader

-Blind/ visually impaired – handouts in large print, audio (may be read by a screen reader – such as JAWS, Window-Eyes) or Braille

-Deaf/hard of hearing – interpreter in the classroom, note takers, access to printed copies of PowerPoint, or  lecture notes, captioning for films, video clips, websites that are auditory

-Mobility- wheelchair access to classroom and for moving around should there be group work, field trips, etc.

First and foremost, the standard statement that informs student about the SAS office needs to be included in all syllabi. The statement can be found at:  http://provost.nmsu.edu/syllabus-resources.

If a student should approach you about accommodations, here are some questions to consider:

  1. Has the student provided me with an Instructor Notification Memo stating what accommodations he/she is entitled to receive?
  2. Have I checked with the student with the disability what needs they have at a time (that is not in front of the class room) in a confidential manner?
  3. Am I careful not to make assumptions about what a student can or cannot do based upon the disability they have? Do I always check with the student in private first?

Further, if I suspect at some point a student might have a disability, have I referred them to Student Accessibility Services?

Any instructional material should be accessible as well (e.g. word document; transcript for audio media; non-picture format for scans) Below are some considerations:

Syllabus
Classroom
Textbooks
Library (Electronic) Reserves
Handouts (Lecture Materials, Tutorials, Assignment Description and/or Other Materials)
Internet Resources
Video Resources
Audio Resources

Syllabus

  • Did I include the disability statement on my syllabus?
  • Did I use appropriate formatting (if scanned and saved in any picture format (jpg, gif, etc), it won’t be accessible) so that students using assistive technology, such as text-to-speech software, can effectively access the information?

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Classroom

  •  For a student who is deaf, is there is an interpreter and notetaker? Is there enough lighting for the student to see the interpreter during slide, video or other presentations?
  •  Is there seating appropriate and available to the needs of the students with disabilities? This includes space for wheelchairs and for those in wheelchairs to move about classroom if needed for group work, etc.
  •  If I am using the board or showing illustrations to augment a point do the students have access to the content of these visual aids? (including a “reader” who explains what is on the board, or being shown to the visually impaired/blind)
  • When asking for student participation, do I make sure that all students have a way to participate, and that enough time is given to those students to join in and provide their input, and for those using interpreters to have the question interpreted and time to provide an answer?
  • Do I make sure students practice turn taking and respect when freely blurting out answers, questions, or their opinions, making sure all students have the opportunity to participate?
    When using group work, do I provide guidance on how best to include the student with a disability in their group?
  • Do I have a method for setting up groups that does not inadvertently exclude students who are “different” or have a disability from being “chosen” for groups?
  • When going on and planning field trips/labs that involve travel, is the travel accessible, the event accessible, and the activity expected from the students accessible, did I make sure there is “room for” the interpreter during these events, did I alert the interpreter or student with mobility issues to the event and determine how they will be able to participate as well?
  • When providing or assigning additional activities such as study groups, have I informed the SAS office so that they can be sure to have an interpreter available, and/or to help accommodate in other ways necessary?

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Textbooks

  •  Did I submit my textbook adoption request to Barnes and Noble? If a student receives an accommodation of alternate text, Student Accessibility Services will obtain an electronic version for them, but this may take up to 4 weeks. Keep this in mind when making textbook requests.

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Library (Electronic) Reserves

Did I submit my course reserves materials to the Library in an accessible format**? If using PDF’s are they just an uploaded image or can the text be read by a screen reader?
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Handouts (Lecture Materials, Tutorials, Assignment Description and/or Other Materials)

Did I create my handouts in an accessible format**?
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Internet Resources

  • Are the Internet resources (e.g. websites, blogs, Youtube videos, wikis, etc) that I plan to use in class accessible for students? (Can those that can’t see, listen to an auditory description or read out of the site? Can those that can’t hear read a text version of what is auditory on the site?)
  • If there is a course web site, is it accessible**?
  • If the Internet resources are not accessible, do I have a plan so that all students can have access to the same information as those students who can?

Video Resources

  • Are the video presentations (DVDs, video tapes, video podcasts, other video formats) available with closed captioning?
  • If not, is a transcript of the video presentation available?
  • If not, do I have a plan so that all students can have access to the same information?

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Audio Resources

  • Are the audio presentations (CDs, audio podcasts, audio clips, other audio formats) available with a transcript?
  • If not, do I have a plan so that students who cannot access the audio can have access to the same information as those students who can?

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