Accessibility and UDL

BMCC’s Office of Accessibility

BMCC’s Office of Accessibility
 can review your course materials to ensure they are accessible. To have your course materials reviewed, contact Kokou Doumassi.

What Makes Materials “Accessible,” Anyway?

Materials become accessible to more people when they are created with an awareness of the varying abilities of users. For example, a video without closed captioning may be completely inaccessible to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. In another case, someone who uses a screen reader may not be able to access a PDF article that has not been scanned with optical character recognition (OCR) or alternative text (aka “alt text”) for images. OCR transforms a PDF into an indexed document with readable and discoverable text, and alt text provides image descriptions for the user of a screen reader.

Instructors can improve the accessibility of course materials by running simple accessibility checks, OCR scanning, and adding alt text to images used in digital files. By improving the accessibility of materials for students with disabilities, instructors actually make the materials more accessible for everyone. For more information on this subject, explore the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines.

Getting Started

Digging Deeper

Explore the CUNY-wide Accessibility Toolkit for Open Educational Resources (OER), created by CUNY librarian Amy Wolfe, for detailed information about what makes materials accessible or not. This toolkit includes accessibility resources for navigating various platforms, as well as guidelines and resources for both creating accessible OER and evaluating the accessibility of open or zero-cost materials.

OER Course Redesign Workshop Materials

These materials were used in the OER Course Redesign Workshop in January 2020 and are especially helpful if you want to ensure that your syllabus created in Microsoft Word is accessible.

Additional Resources

A Personal Look at Accessibility in Higher Education (video)

A Personal Look at Accessibility in Higher Education

This video highlights the experiences of students and faculty with disabilities in higher education.


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