An accessible syllabus is critical to all students but especially to students who have a disability. Your syllabus introduces students to your course by outlining the order, expectations, and important information that students need to have to complete your course. An accessible syllabus may be one of the first points of communication to your class, so it should be easy to read for all students. It’s also a great opportunity to promote a sense of inclusiveness in your course. Use these helpful tips to create your own accessible syllabus for your courses.
Follow the Basic Accessibility Elements
Your syllabus should be formatted for accessibility just as any other document would be. Adhering to the basic accessibility elements in the Getting Started with Accessibility section of the website will make your syllabus accessible to all students. Structuring your syllabus with headings and lists, using descriptive links, considering color contrast, using alt text for images, properly formatting tables are all effective ways to create an accessible syllabus.
Accommodations Syllabus Statement
Including a statement in your syllabus that addresses accommodations is strongly recommended. While students who need accommodations are encouraged to register with the Office of Accessibility, Resources and Services (OARS) prior to beginning their courses, this does not always happen. An accessibility statement in your syllabus will be another source of encouragement for students to contact the appropriate campus resource so they can have full access to your course. Another benefit to adding a statement to your syllabus is that it establishes with your students the process that must be followed in order for them to receive accommodations. Also, include information about accessibility services in your Canvas course (e.g. in the Announcements section or on your introduction page) to further show your support to students with disabilities.
OARS provides the following example syllabus statement:
UNCG seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a disability must be registered with the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS). If you wish to request accommodations, please start the process by contacting OARS at 215 Elliott University Center, 336-334-5440, oars.uncg.edu.