As we move back into remote teaching due to lockdown, here’s a reminder of what you need to know to make your subject accessible for students.
While remote/online learning can resolve access barriers for some students, it can also increase challenges for other students. The LX Accessible Content Practices are a useful guide to make your subject sites accessible and help your students succeed.
The Accessibility Service is the central contact point for students who have a disability, medical or mental health condition. Academic staff who become aware of access issues should refer students to register with the Accessibility Service to ensure students are briefed on the range of support available. To refer students, email Accessibility; they can register themselves with the Accessibility Service here.
Assistance for subject coordinators
- Academic Liaison Officers (ALOs) are the link between Accessibility Service and the Faculty and a good contact for Academic staff to consult about access responsibilities and processes within Faculties. ALOs determine approval of recommended adjustments such as exam provisions.
- If Academics receive requests directly from students registered with Accessibility, they can be referred/forwarded to their assigned Accessibility Consultant. They can then consult with the student and send clear requests to Subject Coordinators. Academics are welcome to discuss requests with Accessibility Consultants.
- Read our website’s resource collection on digital accessibility. If you need further assistance on how to convert your teaching materials into a more accessible format, book a consultation via ServiceConnect.
- The Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion can provide advice and assistance about equity related policy and systems matters and assist with queries about reasonable adjustments and discrimination.
Provision of accessible online learning
- Deliver accessible Zoom classes.
- Consider structure and organisation of subject information on Canvas: consider students with cognitive/learning disability impacts who can miss critical information and waste time trying to locate subject materials. LX Accessible Content Practices guide you on how to make your subject accessible.
- Develop accessible learning materials: when subject resources are designed / sourced using a universal design approach it enables students to access information independently, using their assistive technology.
- Use the Canvas Accessibility Checker. In a recent blog, Associate Professor Emma Power demonstrates how she uses this tool to improve content in her subject.
- You might have students in your subject that require a notetaker. They will be added to your Canvas course as a student with their staff ID. There is a request with ITD to improve this set up so the Notetaker is more clearly identified. Notetakers are removed from Canvas at the end of the session.
- Don’t delete notetakers from your subject as they need this access in order to provide notes for the student.
- Provide links to Zoom sessions via Announcements in Canvas, so the notetaker can access the session. For Microsoft Teams, please extend an invite to the notetaker.
- Notetakers send an introductory email to advise Subject Coordinators of their attendance in each class – extend this information to any relevant teaching staff for your subject.
- View the list of confirmed subjects with notetakers to confirm if your subject has a notetaker.
Notetakers in Breakout Rooms
- There is currently not a system with capacity to notify Subject Coordinator details of Notetakers assigned to students and subjects in Breakout Rooms.
- Following the start of session you may receive email requests from Accessibility containing the details of assigned Notetakers and students in your subject(s), to request the notetaker(s) are assigned to the relevant student’s online breakout rooms.
- If you use breakout rooms in your subject/s and it’s important to have the notetaker assigned to the student’s break out room, please contact Accessibility@uts.edu.au so we may provide you details of the student / notetaker.
- Useful information on setting up breakout rooms includes showing how to move meeting participants from one breakout room into another.
- Upload content in Kaltura which provides automatic captions. The use captions in Kaltura resource gives instructions on how to review and edit captions.
- LX.lab staff can assist with the implementation of closed captioning requests for videos and pre-recorded audio material.
- Accessibility Service will arrange external providers for live captioning requests for Zoom classes. They will be in touch if your subject requires captioning.
Feedback and requests for further information
Feedback on this post and suggestions for additional information or information gaps is most welcome. Please provide your feedback to email@example.com with the Subject line: Accessibility.