The University of Alaska is committed to ensuring that all of its students – regardless of challenges – may achieve their academic goals. In support of this commitment, AI&e embeds accessibility and universal access throughout all course design & development and faculty professional development efforts. For additional detailed information about UAA's approach to accessibility visit the UAA website.
Our approach to accessibility is on preparing instructors to teach accessible online and technology-enhanced courses. We can assist you in producing fully accessible content and/or coach you to produce your own accessible content.
Students who experience disabilities and need academic accommodations should reach out to the Disability Support Services (DSS) office.
- AI&e eLearning courses will be inclusively developed and maintained using principles
of Universal Design, in conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
– Version 2 (WCAG 2.0), Level A.
- AI&e eLearning courses will be developed to meet the Quality Matters Specific Standard
7.2 and General Standard 8 that together address accessibility. Learn more at Quality Matters
- Distance Learning Program (DLP) Accessibility Indicators for students, course designers, instructors, and program evaluators from the DO-IT Admin project will be used by instructional designers as a metric for universal design when working at the programmatic level.
- The University of Washington's DO-IT project developed a set of ten indicators of distance learning program accessibility. Our work with designing or revising online programs references these indicators as part of our overall approach.
The W3C - World Wide Web Consortium - develops standards that are widely observed around all things World Wide Web, including accessibility. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG or Wuh-Cag) are the principal guidelines that UAA must follow for web-based content, including course content.
Standard 7.2 ensures that students can readily find within a course where accessibility services are at UAA. General Standard 8 addresses a variety of accessibility-related facets of course design including navigation, ease of use, readability with minimal distractions, accessible files and course content formats, accessible multimedia formats and ease of use, and ensuring that tools used in a course have an accessibility statement and that it is available to students for review.
AI&e addresses these topics regularly in our training and professional development efforts. A workshop provided by Quality Matters will also give faculty an excellent overview of General Standard 8. Our office can provide any UAA faculty member with a complete set of the QM Standards to use in your course design and development efforts.
|UAA Accessibility Quick Guide is designed to help you build and check your content accessibility in a variety of programs used at UAA.|
|Lynda.com offers training on numerous topics, including accessibility. Access is granted with an Anchorage Public Library card.|
|Hoonuit offers training on numerous topics, including accessibility.
Additionally, Hoonuit's Professional Learning Network allows you to connect and collaborate with over a million other educators.
|Portland Community College Accessibility for Online Course Content|
A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a document that explains how information and communication technology (ICT) products such as software, hardware, electronic content, and support documentation meet (conform to) the Revised 508 Standards for IT accessibility. VPATs help Federal agency contracting officials and government buyers to assess ICT for accessibility when doing market research and evaluating proposals. A VPAT is a good way to address the accessibility requirements defined in the solicitation.
Quality Matters Standards Accessibility & Usability Standard 8.6 specifically requires that vendor accessibility statements are provided for all technologies that are required for your course(s). If a technology you utilize in your course is not listed below, you must find the accessibility statement and/or the VPAT statement for that tool. You may include accessibility statements in your syllabus, on a resource page within your course or you may link directly to this webpage.
Key federal legislation related to online courses includes the following:
- Rehabilitation Act passed in 1973 made it unlawful to discriminate against persons
with disabilities in all federally assisted programs, services, and employment.
- Section 504 stipulates that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance.”
- Section 508 is a 1998 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act that requires electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies to be accessible by people with disabilities.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is civil rights legislation signed in 1990 to
prohibit discrimination based on a student’s disability.
- The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 clarifies the definition of “disability” and broadens the number of individuals who are eligible for the protections of the ADA, including accommodations for temporary disabilities.
- Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life
- Accessibility: All students can access, perceive, understand, navigate, interact, and contribute
to web-based or technology-enhanced courses and materials.
- Universal Design: Proactive design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the
greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
- Accommodation: Necessary and appropriate modifications to ensure that individuals with disabilities
have access to course materials and functions.
- Assistive Technology: Any equipment that is used to enhance the functional capabilities of students with disabilities.