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Course Accessibility to Support All Learners

Technologies to support equitable access to course content

DoIT and Student Disability Services hosted a "Candid Conversation on Enhancing Accessibility" on March 15th. The session highlighted ways that course accessibility benefits all students and results in inclusive learning and working environments. Student Disability Services and DoIT's Instructional Technology team collaborate to provide resources and support to enhance course accessibility. Proactively designing and teaching a course with accessibility in mind not only supports students with documented accommodations, but also supports Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and best practices in course design. In the session panelists shared several key recommendations and resources that are available:

Key recommendations for course design and delivery

  • Use Blackboard Ally to check the accessibility of course content, get guidance on remediating content, and to access alternative formats of course materials.

Accessibility Resources

In addition to the tools noted above, the following resources also support accessibility:

Technology Highlight: Class

UMBC will be piloting Class, a synchronous web conferencing platform built on Zoom's infrastructure. Class provides support for the following:

  • Live transcription. All students in a Class session can view captions.
  • Multiple video displays while sharing content, including support for sign language interpreters with a dedicated Sign Language Camera.
  • Notes, an upcoming Class feature, will allow students to highlight text from the meeting transcript and add notes.
  • Screen reader compatibility and keyboard navigation.

Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) 

  • Faculty Resources  
  • Enroll in the SDS Accommodations Support for Faculty Blackboard organization.
SDS's Accommodations Support for Faculty Blackboard organization provides faculty guidance on accessibility in Blackboard, captioning, testing accommodations, and remediating course content.

How to Enroll
  1. Open Blackboard:https://blackboard.umbc.edu.
  2. Next, use this link to self-enroll in the course. Note: You must have Blackboard open FIRST before using this self-enroll link or you will encounter an error.
  3. Once the self-enroll page loads, click submit to proceed. Image 1: Click submit to self-enroll in this training course.
  4. On the next page, click OK to confirm enrollment. 
  5. The course will be immediately available.

Connect with Student Disability Services

Michael Canale

Assistant Director, Office of Student Disability Services (SDS)


Student Disability Services

Email: disability@umbc.edu

Connect with Instructional Technology

As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options:

Image description: virtual meeting showing participants, chat bubble, closed captions icon, and text with a transcript.

~ by Josh Abrams, Peter Ariev, and Michael Canale

Posted: March 27, 2023, 9:17 AM