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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.

The "Do It Yourself" section of 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.

Accessify Your Course

Accessify your Course from CELT provides resources that will help faculty members and instructional designers to plan, develop, and implement course sites in ways that reduce barriers to learning and facilitate meaningful participation by all students.

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

Accessibility Checkers and Online Tools

  • Web Accessibility in Mind: WebAIM provides accessibility training resources, blog posts and articles about major topics in web accessibility, and links to additional outside resources that can be used to check the accessibility of your resources. 
  • WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool: You can use the WAVE Accessibility Tool online web service or browser extensions to help you determine the accessibility of web content. Just paste in the URL of the page or pages you would like to check and the tool will check for common accessibility issues that may be present. 


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