Implementing the principles of universal design in education means anticipating the diversity of students who may enroll in your course and planning accordingly. Designing a course with principles of universal design in mind is an ongoing and creative process. One does not achieve the level of usability aspired to with a simple checklist, but with an open mind and a commitment to making design and inclusion a priority.
There are a few elements, though, that if taken into consideration, can enhance access and usability greatly. Knowing and incorporating these elements on the front end of the design process can save hours down the line.
Provide materials needed for students (handouts, PowerPoints, slides) upon request for digital, large print or similar format. Contact DRC staff with questions about format accessibility. Handouts are to be given to student at the same time as the other students in class (or earlier). For Braille requests, provide materials to DRC for conversion. The DRC recommends designing all written materials in an accessible way to minimize the need for an individual accommodation.
- Include a welcoming access statement.
- Provide simple, consistent navigation in online resources.
- Choose tools carefully.
- Model and teach good discussion board etiquette.
- Use color with care. (for more about color contrast and readability, try http://w3schools.sinsixx.com/quality/quality_readability.asp.htm)
- Make sure text is readable.
- Provide accessible document formats.
- Describe graphics and visual elements.
- Caption videos and transcribe audio clips.
- Rethink, redesign PowerPoint presentations.
Phone: (765) 494-1247
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155 S. Grant St.
West Lafayette, IN 47907