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Hege Library & Learning Technologies

For Faculty: Resilient Teaching

This guide provides support and gathers resources for faculty on resilient teaching approaches during times of change.

Accessibility Basics

Consider the following quick tips as you work to make your course accessible in an online format:

  1. Respect all of your students' accommodation needs: consider these needs as you design and teach your course online. Contact the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) and Hege Library staff for any assistance you might need. 
  2. Make sure all course PDFs have been converted with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) so that the text is readable in multiple formats (screen reader, etc.). If text in a PDF is searchable, it has been OCR-ed: most articles and ebooks from library databases have already been OCR-ed, but it is important to double-check. You can convert materials with OCR in the following ways:
    • You can convert PDFs using Read & Write Gold Software. Contact the ARC if you need assistance with the process of installing it on your computer.
    • The Sharp printer/scanners have an OCR feature that you can use when scanning readings. See this Sharp walkthrough for help.
  3. When using videos, make sure videos have been captioned or that a transcript has been provided. When using images, make sure they are described, for example by providing alt text ("alternative text") - Canvas prompts you to add descriptive alt text when you add an image.
    • Some online video services like YouTube caption videos for you, but you will want to double-check for accuracy. Many of Hege Library's streaming video services, like Kanopy, either have captions already available or can create them upon request for material not yet captioned.
  4. Make adjustments to assignment due dates and quiz times as needed.

Further Reading

Read through these suggestions and resources by Aimi Hamraie, "Accessible Teaching in the Time of Covid-19": Aimi has suggestions for options depending on the type of course (lecture-based, discussion-based) and the type of assignments (projects, presentations, papers and tests...).

Check out this resource from Sheryl Burgstahler at the University of Washington: "20 Tips for Teaching an Online Course" (also available as a PDF, below, and as a video!).

Canvas Accessibility Checklist

The Canvas Accessibility checklist is available at Run through this checklist to make sure your Canvas course is as accessible as possible.