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Access by Design: Accessible Instructional Materials Checklist for Cal Poly Faculty

CSU is committed to creating a culture of access for an inclusive learning environment. This means ensuring that all campus electronic and information technology resources are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. The goal is to provide the most effective learning environment for all students while at the same time complying with existing policies and laws.

The information and links below are designed to inform faculty of their responsibilities for ensuring that instructional materials are accessible to everyone.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact it-policy@calpoly.edu

Universal Design in Learning

Universal design in learning ensures student success, regardless of ability and learning styles. Designing course strategies and materials from the start with accessibility in mind will enhance the learning experience of all students, not just students with disabilities. For supplemental training and more information, check out Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction video and related publications developed by DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology), University of Washington.

Specific Steps Faculty Can Take to Ensure Student Access to Instructional Materials

  1. Contact the University Store to identify textbook and course pack selections at least six weeks before classes begin. This will allow enough time for the materials to be converted into alternate formats. See Academic Senate Resolution AS-654-07.
  2. Make the class syllabus available online (e.g., in Canvas or on the Web) in accessible format before the first day of class. This can help students plan ahead so they can convert materials into accessible formats ahead of time.
  3. Use the Electronic Course Reserve Process to make reserve items available to students in Canvas in accessible formats.
  4. Use clean copies of in-class handouts so they can be scanned and converted into accessible formats.
  5. Caption all video used for instruction easily and inexpensively. Buy only captioned videos and DVDs and have captions added to existing videos before using them online or in the classroom.
  6. Provide transcripts for audio-only presentations and materials. Consider using a speech recognition software tool (such as Apple or Windows speech recognition tools or Dragon Naturally Speaking) to convert your lectures and other audio-only materials into text.
  7. Create or convert and post electronic course materials online in accessible formats. Creating accessible documents is not difficult and there are online tutorials and other resources for commonly used applications to assist you. Doing it right the first time is much easier than trying to fix it later! Guides for commonly used applications.
  8. Make materials available as soon as possible to facilitate student learning.
  9. Request an electronic version and/or an additional desk copy of your textbooks to facilitate their conversion into alternate formats.
  10. Use publishers who offer electronic copies. California law requires publishers to provide electronic copies of textbooks.
  11. Consider using Canvas to post the course syllabus and other important class information and course materials electronically. While Canvas itself is accessible, make sure files posted to the course are in accessible formats.
  12. Provide students with alternative methods to receive lecture materials, e.g., post lecture notes online, provide transcripts, allow students to record class lectures, etc. In your syllabus and early in the course, ask students to let you know privately if they require alternative methods.
  13. Be open to communicating with students about their learning styles and using multiple instructional methods to address their needs. Consider the possible learning styles of your student and construct your materials accordingly. Provide alternate ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge.
  14. Electronic and information technology resources purchased for campus use, including instruction, must be reviewed for compliance with Section 508 standards based on Cal Poly’s E&IT Procurement Implementation Plan. For more information, contact the E&IT Campus Compliance Officer.

Tutorials and Guides for Commonly Used Applications

Cal Poly Tutorials and Information

Tutorials and Guides from Other Sources


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