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Accessibility for OER

The focus of many open education projects is to provide access to education. But what does access mean? If the materials are not accessible for each and every student, do they fulfill the mandate to deliver fully open education? The open education movement has helped people in different parts of the world access content that they would otherwise not be able to view or interact with. Open education resources reduce costs for students and allow for greater flexibility for instructors. Accessibility can help push the movement even further forward.

- The University of British Columbia OER Accessibility Toolkit

No matter what you use in the classroom, it's important to ensure that all students can access and use those materials effectively. As state employees, it is our duty to make sure the resources we provide are ADA compliant; however, faculty do not have to navigate this process on their own. The following resources have been curated to help you navigate the world of accessibility and OER: 

Resources Available at ISU

Digital Access at Iowa State

The Office of Digital Access at ISU provides guidance, support, and consultation to units throughout campus to enable an increasing adoption of accessibility-minded practices. Their website contains helpful solutions such as making PDFs accessible, captioning videos, and using accessible link text.

Student Accessibility Services

Student Accessibility Services office (SAS) at Iowa State University is a unit in the Dean of Students Office that supports students with disabilities related to the services and programs that enable their access to education and university life.

10 Tips for Creating Accessible Course Content

These 10 tips from the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CELT) can be useful for both general online resources and educational materials shared on Canvas Browse the tips provided or scroll down to the additional resources on the webpage for more specific support.  

Accessibility for OER

  • Flexible Learnign for Open Education (floe): Floe provides access to a group of resources that can help meet individual learners' needs. Find tools to help you create, adapt, or publish accessible OER for your classroom. 
  • BCCampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit, 2nd Edition: The goal of this accessibility toolkit is to provide resources for each content creator, instructional designer, educational technologist, librarian, administrator, and teaching assistant to create a truly open textbook—one that is free and accessible for all students.
  • Accessibility and Open Educational Resources: This resource provides resources about the accessibility of OER and Universal Design for Learning. This includes information about OER, a list of accessibility requirements for educational materials, and rubrics for assessing an OER's accessibility.
  • Understanding Document Accessibility: Learn how to create accessible word-processed documents, spreadsheets, presentation slides, and PDF documents, among others, so they are accessible to everyone.


The image used for the button on the Resources & Support page leading to this page was retrieved from WOCinTech Chat on Flickr, and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license