Every student learns and engages with course materials differently, especially students with disabilities. How a disability impacts a student’s learning will vary by individual. However, here are some common things to consider in presenting course content online and accommodations that may be provided for students with disabilities. Below are some of the most common issues that impede accessibility and the ways in which these issues can be addressed:
All college online or hybrid courses must comply with both federal and state laws that require accessibility for students with disabilities. Course materials must also comply with copyright restrictions.
Any content shared between faculty and staff must be in full compliance with the Americans with Disability Act, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and current copyright laws.
For a comprehensive discussion on accessibility and copyright, what it is and how to determine if it can be used, see the Center for e-Learning's Compliance Issues learning object in the Getting Started in Online Teaching course. Below are some general guidelines to keep in mind.
There are several Federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for students with disabilities.
Disability laws define a person with a disability as someone who has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.
Specific laws that relate to higher education and online courses include: