Skip to main content

Online Teaching & Learning Guide: Accessibility


Accessibility for All

Sending a quick questionnaire to your students with the following questions can help you identify the optimal ways to reach and communicate with your students (Hamraie, 2020):

  • Do you have reliable internet and a computer at home in case we need to shift online?
  • Does your computer have a camera in case we need to do video conferencing?
  • Do you have any accessibility requests for me regarding online teaching (for example, readings available in a different format, transcription of conversations, specific approaches to discussion boards, or preference of video discussion vs. discussion boards)? Please let me know if you need help accessing any resources, including basic needs (food, shelter, medical care), psychological care and counseling, childcare, a ride, or access to technology.

Here are some easy-to-apply practices when designing online materials:

Link to a Guide on Accessibility for Captioning and Transcribing Lectures

See the Canvas Accessibility Guidelines for more information. 

Accessibility Information to Share With Your Students 

Consider adding an additional accessibility statement to your syllabus, online course, or introductory email: 

“I am committed to making this course accessible. Let me know if you encounter any inaccessible elements as soon as possible so the problem can be remedied. James Madison University is committed to access, inclusion, and addressing diverse needs. If you have a documented disability and, as a result need reasonable accommodations to participate in this class, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University's programs or services, contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible. To receive accommodations for disability in this course, please provide an Access Plan from ODS to the instructor in a timely manner. The ODS works confidentially in partnership with students, faculty, and other University departments to ensure equal access through Universal Design and reasonable accommodations. You will find details about how to get started on the ODS website at ODS will work to address the needs of students with disabilities studying off campus. The office is located in the Student Success Center, Suite 1202. You may contact them by phone at 540-568-6705 or through email at"

Setting Extra Time in Canvas Quizzes

In a published Canvas quiz, find "Moderate This Quiz":

Moderate a Canvas quiz

Change time and attempt options for students who have registered for ODS accommodation by selecting the pencil icon to the right of the student name:

adjusting time and attempts

More resources for Accessibility and Online Teaching (being developed continually)


SensusAccess is a self-service, alternate media solution for educational institutions. SensusAccess allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille. The service can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into more accessible and less tricky formats. We call that Inclusion Technology. (Not ready for support yet.)


SensusAccess e-Learning Course:


Reference: Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19 (Dr. Aimi Hamraie at Vanderbilt)