Online Course Content and Accessibility

Over the last little while, several of the items I’ve sent out related to Canvas have focused on accessibility.  For example, two of the webinars that are coming up in August focus on accessibility.  There was the self-paced course created by Debbie Millican at TUN on Designing Online Courses for Accessibility that is available for faculty to complete (and you can see the thoughts of one of the TCU faculty that complete the course here).  Today I’d like to share with you two additional resources hat have come across my electronic desk related to accessibility that may be of use to you.

The first is about a report from Blackboard that is largely descriptive of the issue, with some useful tips and examples throughout.  Note that you don’t have to follow the link to download the report it mentions, as I have attached it to this message.  The second is a short online article that provides a good overview of the legal requirements around accessibility in the United States.

As always, if you have any questions about any of these issues, please let Jim or myself know.

Michael K. Barbour, Ph.D.

From: “Sally Ewalt, Blackboard” <>
Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 11:32 AM
Subject: [Report] Accessible, inclusive education: a moral and legal imperative

Read this essential report on how accessibility can benefit all students
View Online
11% of Higher Ed students have some type of disability
Build an accessibility policy to reach 100% of students
The accessibility of learning environments is high on everyone’s priority list these days. Regulatory requirements and the threat of lawsuits make accessibility an imperative. Directives from the Department of Justice and Department of Education say that students with disabilities must receive an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the goods and services offered at their colleges and universities.
Given the rising rates of students entering higher education with a known disability, are you making the relevant adjustments to provide all students with the opportunity to achieve their full potential?
To learn more about inclusive education that can benefit all students – including those with differing abilities or learning preferences – read The Accessibility Imperative for Education.
Accessible content is better content
Blackboard Ally is a revolutionary product that integrates seamlessly into your Learning Management System and focuses on making digital course content more accessible. And now introducing Ally for websites!
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From: 3Play Media <>
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 8:00 AM
Subject: Are you legally required to make your content accessible?

3Play Media logo

Should online learning content be accessible?

In short, yes. 

There are two major disability rights laws in the United States – the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. 

These laws serve to protect the rights of learners with disabilities. If you’d like to learn more about how these laws apply to you, check out our post on accessibility laws for online learning content. 



3Play Media also provides closed captioning, transcription, and audio description services.


3Play Media

34 Farnsworth Street 4th Floor Boston MA 02210

Canvas Webinars – Schedule and Sessions for Summer/Fall

To Attend: Please click on the date and time for the webinar(s) for which you would like to attend to join the Zoom session. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Debbie Millican (Instructional Designer in the College of Health and Human Services at Touro University Nevada and Fellow for the Center for Innovative Learning and Teaching) at

Accessibility: Adding Closed Captions to Kaltura Videos 

Description: In an effort to move to 100% accessibility with our online courses, adding closed captions to videos is at the top of the list. This webinar will cover how, as an instructor, you can quickly add closed captions to all your videos. You will also learn how to edit the captions when needed. There will be a review on uploading Kaltura videos to your Canvas course. Following this session, participants will be able to: 

  • Add closed captions to Kaltura videos
  • Edit closed captions
  • Upload a Kaltura video to a Canvas course

Dates/Times Offered: 

Accessibility: How to use the Word Accessibility Tool 

Description: This webinar continues to explore accessibility by demonstrating to instructors how to use the Word Accessibility Tool to check all supporting documents in a course for accessibility. Following this workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • Locate and run the accessibility tool in Word
  • Describe steps to take to correct the accessibility errors

Dates/Times Offered:

If you would like to learn more about accessibility, please self-enroll in the Canvas course by clicking on the link below.

Badges: How to use badges with your Canvas Course

Description: This webinar demonstrates how to use badges to reward your student for completion of assignments or modules in Canvas. Following this workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • Create a badge 
  • Edit modules to add requirements for badges
  • Add a badge to your Canvas course
  • View the status of badge completion by students

Dates/Times Offered:

*Webinar will be recorded and can be viewed on the CILT website.

Rewarding… Reflections on Completing “Designing Online Courses for Accessibility”

You know that feeling when you complete something and reflect on how rewarding it was?

Well I just finished the online canvas course titled, “Designing Online Courses for Accessibility.” I really liked it.  I took about 4 hours total to complete and taught me so much.  I loved how it was presented and the content was understandable for a topic I did not know much about.

The course looks at strategies to make online content to be both Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.  Note that this does not just apply to online, hybrid, and/or blended courses.  Under federal law ALL online content that is posted in a learning management system – like Canvas – should be compliant with both ADA and 504.

If you get a chance this summer please take this course.  Debbie Millican did an amazing job and if nothing else this provided me a wonderful template on how to use Canvas to deliver a course.  Debbie is the Instructional Designer for the College of Health and Human Services Touro University, Nevada.  The course is free and self-paced online.  Enjoy…

Rolly Kali-Rai
College of Pharmacy
Touro University California

Faculty Development Opportunity – Designing Online Courses for Accessibility

Good Morning All!
I wanted to bring to your attention a self-paced course that was created by Debbie Millican, an Instructional Designer for College of Health and Human Services at Touro University Nevada.

The course looks at strategies to make online content to be both Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.  Note that this does not just apply to online, hybrid, and/or blended courses.  Under federal law ALL online content that is posted in a learning management system – like Canvas – should be compliant with both ADA and 504.

The course itself is self-paced, and using badges for its assessment.
Faculty can self-enroll in the course be going to:

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Michael K. Barbour, Ph.D.