Universal Design in the Classroom

Table of Contents


This page is an overview of the Universal Design pages of the Computer Information Services (CIS) wiki. It links to a number of helpful tutorials and guides that can increase the accessibility of technology-related components of a course. These tutorials focus primarily on increasing document, email, video, and web content accessibility, but follow principles that can be incorporated throughout the learning experience.

Document Accessibility

A  more detailed guide to document accessibility, can be found in the embedded link.

Documents created in Word, Adobe InDesign and other word processing programs should be made accessible for all students, especially those using screen readers. Accessibility can be increased in a document by:

  • Incorporating Headings
  • Using Lists where possible
  • Always adding Alt Text to images
  • Identifying the document language
  • Using Tables Wisely
  • Understanding how to export from one format to another

Email Accessibility

A more detailed guide to email accessibility,can be found in the embedded link.

Email accessibility operates off the same basic steps of document accessibility, but there are a few additional steps that can be taken to ensure the highest possible accessibility. Highly contrasting font and background colors, as well as clear fonts and including images as attachments to emails can all help. For department emails, there are a number of templates available that ensure accessibility.

Video Accessibility

Video accessibility is increased by the use of captions and by ensuring that audio and visual quality are such that the video is clear and easy to follow. CIS provides a tutorial on how to assess audio quality in Panopto. Learn how to caption Panopto videos following the embedded link.

Web Content Accessibility

Increasing the accessibility of web content follows many of the same principles of that of documents and email. This can be done with headings, alternative texts for images, high contrast and easy-to-read fonts, and clear formatting, as opposed to large blocks of text.