Whether your course is designed for full or partial online delivery, or has migrated online to maintain academic continuity, you can teach and assess students effectively. Instructors of online courses should take steps to improve the accessibility and usability of their course content and ensure an inclusive and equitable academic experience for all learners, including learners with disabilities.

Accessibility 101: Accessibility and Online Teaching has been created to serve as a resource for instructors and others who need to design, build, or migrate courses for online delivery.  The goal of this site is not to offer a comprehensive guide to online teaching, but to offer tips, techniques, and resources to help instructors manage accessibility in their online courses.

Where do I start?

For a big picture view of do's and don'ts, review "Recommendations for Providing Online Course Materials"

If you're ready to look at the accessibility of your course documents, view "Tutorials for Designing and Applying Digital Content"

Accessibility Tutorials

A user participates in a Zoom session with real time captions
The IT Accessibility Group offers support for units that wish to provide real-time captions for Zoom meetings. Before requesting captioning support, please review the Zoom Captioning Facts below:
ZOOM logo
Zoom is a web conferencing tool that is widely used for virtual class sessions, online team meetings, and webinars. Zoom offers support for screen reader and keyboard-only users, and most features are generally accessible for people with disabilities.  
Logos for numerous common social media platforms
Social media platforms can present challenges to users with disabilities. Unlabeled images, long strings of text, confusing links, cryptic abbreviations, and uncaptioned videos are just some ways that your content can obscure your message for people with disabilities and users of assistive technologies.
Logos for numerous instructional, design, productivity, and other software products
As the University repurposes courses, programs, and services for online delivery, we are likely to see an increase in challenges that are directly or indirectly related to digital accessibility issues.
Screenshot of a UI promotional video. Captions say, "This is the place you go to learn to be a writer."
For many people, captions are essential part of experiencing videos. While specific implementations of video captioning may differ, video providers should observe a few key aspects of effective captioning.
A user accesses an ICON course page on a laptop
Designing or converting course files for online delivery raises some important questions around accessibility. These tips can help you get started with your online course development or migration.
ICON at the University of Iowa
ICON is the University of Iowa's implementation of the Canvas course management system. Instructors can create pages, assignments, assessments, and other course materials in ICON, and can upload materials in many other formats.
Adobe PDF
Adobe Acrobat Pro lets you create PDF documents from a variety of sources. PDFs are easy to distribute, and remain faithful to the design and layout of the original. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you provide more accessible PDF documents for your students and others.
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is one of the most popular applications in the world, widely used to create worksheets, articles, syllabi, and other documents. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you provide more accessible Microsoft Word documents for your students and others.
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most popular presentation tools in use today. PowerPoint lets you create engaging presentations and interactive materials for print, digital sharing, and in-person presentation.
HTML-CSS-JS symbols
The World Wide Web and related technologies have changed the way people learn, communicate, and engage with the world around them. To ensure that the web benefits all people, it is important to maintain websites that are usable and accessible to all.
A hand holding a magnifying glass focuses on the phrase "UDL and Accessibility"
Migrating classroom or blended courses to an all-digital format is no small feat.