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Accessibility is becoming increasingly important to most institutions. Whether from the escalation of accessibility based lawsuits or just an increasing awareness of the types of disabilities affecting online learners, there’s been a corresponding increase in the scrutiny of and anxiety about instructional materials online and their perceptibility to persons with disabilities. 

This course seeks to soothe those anxieties by instilling in participants empathy for the student experience and empowerment that their courses and instruction can be made accessible. To this end, the course addresses the following topics:

  • Legal Considerations Regarding Accessibility: What are Section 504, 508, and ADA? What sorts of legal cases have affected online courses in recent years, and what takeaways do they offer?
  • Types of Learning Disabilities Affecting Student Learning: How do visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive disabilities affect a student’s experience in an online course?
  • The Role of Instructional Design in Accessibility: How does accessibility merge with effective instructional design? What is the role of UDL when it comes to creating accessible courses?
  • Preparing Documents for Use by Assistive Technologies: In what ways can common files types (.docx, .pptx, .pdf, .xlsx) be made accessible? What are strategies or tools that can used to easily review them? 
Most importantly, the course aims to shift perceptions about accessibility away from “accommodation” and “obligation” and instead towards terms “preference” and “responsibility.” That is, the course is built on a principle that designing for accessibility isn’t only a moral and legal imperative, but also a best practice from which all students benefit.

By the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the laws and standards that relate to accessible design.
  • Identify ways that specific disabilities may affect the user experience in the online environment.
  • Describe the application of Universal Design for Learning in an online course environment.
  • Review a variety of common file types for accessibility-related concerns and then correct them appropriately


How to enroll: Click on the course title below and select 'Enroll' to enroll yourself. You must be logged in to complete your enrollment - keep in mind this is separate from your institution's LMS and if you do not already have an account from engaging in a previous Wiley faculty development course then you will need to create a new one. Once enrolled, you will have immediate access to the course via the Navigation Drawer (left menu) and will also receive a confirmation email with a direct link to the course.