University of Southern Indiana

Tips for Online Learning Course Accessibility

Online Learning: Creating an environment that will allow all potential students to have access to materials.

It is much more efficient to create an accessible course at the beginning than to go back and fix problems later.

  Vision impairments

  • Make sure everything is accessible for screen reading software

    • Most individuals that are blind will use screen reading software such as JAWS.  If you are using MS office products or other mainstream products they should be accessible to screen readers.  If you are using any special software please contact Disability Resources to check for accessibility before using.

  • Use page formatting that is standard and consistent. 

  • Make sure Hyperlink names clearly indicate what it is linking to

  • Use built-in formatting styles and always use them to create headers

  • Avoid Prezi presentations – they cannot be read with a screen reader

  • Use easily recognizable fonts without serifs such as Arial, Verdana, Calibri (Students should have software to enlarge the font as needed).

  • Be sure there is good contrast between print and background. 

  • Make sure all pages are uncluttered.

  • Do not use color as the only means to convey meaning ( i.e. red arrows show how to get to point A and blue arrows show point B.  Instead add distinguishing features to the arrows such as dotted or dashed lines. )


  • Uncluttered pages

  • Consistent formatting

Learning disabilities and processing disorders:

  • Uncluttered pages

  • Consistent formatting

  • Synchronous communication may be difficult

Hearing impairments

 Physical impairments

  • Make sure that all required actions can be done with a keyboard.  This includes playing videos.

  • Synchronous communication may be difficult

  • For Hybrid classes be sure all in person meetings have a fully accessible meeting place.

Speech impairments

  • Skype, live chats and telephone conversations should be avoided.

Seizure disorders  

  • Avoid attention grabbing flickers

  • Avoid Prezi presentations

 Helpful tips for all

  • Teach students discussion board etiquette.

  • If it's auditory make it visual also; if it's visual make it auditory also, giving a variety of ways for students to access the materials.

  • Consider mock exams to allow students to become comfortable with the format and to test any assistive technology they may be using and also to make sure they can  receive extra time as approved.

  • Use Asynchronous communication including message, discussion boards and email.

Contact Ronda Stone


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