Accessibility in online courses
At the most basic level, accessibility means that everyone, regardless of a potential disability, has the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services in an equally effective and integrated manner. When information is presented in an accessible format, individuals with unique access needs are able to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as an individual without specific access needs.
By working to ensure that all electronic information and technology presented by or on behalf of the College is accessible, Eastern Florida State College can provide all students with equal opportunities for comprehensive educational experiences. Online accessibility is guided by the federal standards spelled out in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility at EFSC, which means that no one is alone in this endeavor. Faculty, Academic Affairs, eLearning, Academic Technology and the Student Access for Improved Learning (SAIL) office all work together as a team to ensure accessibility of online courses through the sharing of basic digital content standards and accessibility resources for common content such as documents and the Canvas online classroom.
The College's faculty serve as the content experts and curriculum developers to design course documents following a Course Accessibility Checklist in accordance with accessibility guidelines, check accessibility of required software and web applications, and create accessibility plans for required content that is inaccessible.
EFSC's online learning team and the Academic Technology department offer training sessions and individual assistance to faculty, provide tools and resources for faculty to check digital content in all forms for accessibility, develop training materials, review online courses according to accessibility standards, and otherwise support faculty in creating accessible digital content.
SAIL staff work with faculty in a proactive fashion to reduce accessibility barriers for existing and new courses, review documentation of student disability, determine reasonable accommodations for eligible students with disabilities and notify faculty of these accommodations, and otherwise assist faculty in meeting the needs of students with disabilities.
Liz Craft, Academic Technology