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OER: Accessibility


"[Instructors] have legal and ethical obligations to ensure [that] courses are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities. We use digital resources in our courses because we believe they enhance learning. However, unless carefully chosen with accessibility in mind, these resources can have the opposite effect for students with disabilities, erecting daunting barriers that make learning difficult or impossible" (from ASCCC OERI: Accessibility Resources).

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, provides an international standard that defines accessibility of web-based resources. The WCAG 2.0 Guidelines recommends that all digital resources should be POUR:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable, and
  • Robust.

To learn more, watch the following video, "Simply Said: Understanding Accessibility in Digital Learning Materials" and visit the IT Accessibility Checklist, developed at the University of Washington.

Simply Said: Understanding Accessibility Video

Testing Accessibility

How can you test your resources to ensure they are accessible? Use the below tools to help. If you are using Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or Canvas keep in mind that these programs have built in accessibility checkers that work to varying degrees.

From Butte College - OER/ZTC Accessibility Resources.

Accessibility Resources and Information

Accessibility Tips

From ASCCC OERI Accessibility Resources (CC BY). Content adapted from WebAIM’s Introduction to Web Accessibility (copyrighted)