Accessibility & DEI

CODL Resource Videos

This video introduces important considerations for online course accessibility.


This video explains how to create an inclusive and accessible syllabus.

Accessible Content in Online Courses

CODL works in collaboration with the University Academic Support Centers (UASC) and the KU Libraries to create online courseware that is accessible for all users.  Designing a course with accessibility needs in mind can alleviate the stress of hastily converting course content in the event of a last-minute accommodation request.  

 As part of the online course development process with CODL, your instructional designer will do the following to promote accessible design efforts:

1. Review course content for accessibility according to Quality Matters standards: course documents, videos, websites, activities, and assessments. 

2. Suggest possible alternatives for resources and materials that are not accessible or may be challenging to convert to an accessible format.

3. Assist in the conversion of essential materials if accessible versions are otherwise unavailable, such as from a publisher. This includes the tagging of PDF, Word, and PowerPoint files for proper reading order and identifying images that need descriptions to provide full context and logical sequence for screen readers used by students with disabilities.

CODL also provides captions for all videos created with our media production team. We look forward to working with you to ensure that all students have equal access to the online learning experience. Thank you for prioritizing this commitment and helping us to achieve this important goal.

Creating an Inclusive Syllabus from the Center for Teaching Excellence

Tips for Creating Accessible Content 

Microsoft Word

  • Use Word Styles for headings; use fonts such as Ariel, Tahoma, or Calibri
  • Use bold or italic font to show emphasis; avoid using color to convey importance or meaning
  • Provide alternative text for pictures, images, graphs, tables, or other non-text items
  • Use descriptive hyperlinks instead of the URL
  • Use Microsoft Check Accessibility: File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility or select the Review tab


  • Use an accessible theme or plain theme and the slide layouts (avoid text boxes) 
  • Keyboard with shift key replaced by Access key​Use 18 point font size or larger 
  • Each slide should have a unique/distinct title
  • Provide alternative text for all non-text items
  • Consider deactivating transitions, animations, or time settings
  • Check the reading order of slide content
  • Use Microsoft Check Accessibility


  • Accessibility Guide for PDF Files (PDF & MS Word), Provided by Kim Glover, CODL Instructional Designer
  • Check that the PDF has searchable text and a structured reading order (not an image of text). Scanned copies of books and articles are usually an image and not searchable text.  
  • When scanning check for the option to scan utilizing OCR (Optical Character Recognition) so that the scan will make the text readable by a screen reader.
  • To make PDFs searchable: Ask your tech liaison to download either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Cloud
  • Create and verify PDF accessibility
  • Ask for help from an instructional designer at CODL


Additional Resources

Publisher Material Accessibility Questions and Requests

Guidelines for Adopting Publisher Content by Portland Community College

Here are some questions to ask before adopting publisher content:

  • Are the videos captioned and audio transcribed?
  • Can the content be accessed by a screen reader?
  • Are all activities navigable and usable by a student using only a keyboard?
  • Does the vendor have a VPAT or WCAG 2.0 AA compliance statement?

How Can I Request Accessible Content From My Publisher? From Dallas Community College

Below is an email template that instructors can use to contact their publisher in order to confirm that all materials, tools, websites, etc. are accessible to students with disabilities.

Subject: Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) Request


I need to know if the content you are providing for my course is accessible to students with disabilities, ADA compliant, and follows Federal Section 508 and WCAG guidelines. If not, please let me know what steps are being taken to ensure that all students have equal access to the content produced by your company.

I would also like to be sent a link to your Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and WCAG 2.0 information to keep on file.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)






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