Topics Map > Learning Technology > Accessibility


This document goes over how to make online courses accessible at UW-Parkside.

You'll want to make sure that all of the content in your online course follows Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. Content should be presented in a number of ways to ensure students all have access to the same course information.

If you plan to use video or audio content in your course, ensure that closed captioning and transcriptions are available for students (we can help you with this with your Kaltura content).

When you create Word documents and PDFs, you'll need to make sure the documents are accessible by a screen reader.

In Canvas, there's also an Accessibility Checker available in every rich text editor that will flag anything deemed inaccessible to students.

Accessibility Documentation

Below is a useful look at accessibility in higher education:


Video captioning is the only mandatory aspect of accessibility for online classes at this time. All videos that will need to be captioned have to be in your My Media. You can use content from YouTube or another video provider, but since System does not have a contract with YouTube or own the content, we cannot caption those videos for you, the video creator will have to caption that content.

After you've added a video to My Media (either by uploading a MP4, MOV, or by recording a new video with Kaltura), there are two different options to get those videos captioned: Kaltura Self-Captioning and 3Play Media. Below is a breakdown of the differences between the two services.

Kaltura Self-Captioning

3Play Media

Differences Between Kaltura Self-Captioning and 3Play Media
  • Captions can be added by the instructor through My Media.
  • Does not provide a PDF transcript (yet).
  • Captions can take up to a few hours to be completed.
  • Roughly 70% accuracy.
  • Captions are easily edited by the instructor.
  • Self captioning is best suited for short videos. (5-10 minutes or less)
  • Caption requests have to be submitted to the Innovations in Learning team.
  • Provides a PDF transcript.
  • Captions can take up to 2 weeks to be completed.
  • Roughly 95% accuracy.
  • Captions will need to be edited by the Innovations in Learning team.
  • 3Play is best suited for long lecture videos. (5-10 minutes plus)

Color & Contrast

Something to keep in mind while creating online content is color. Color itself should not have meaning in online documentation because students who have visual impairments might not be able to tell the difference between the colors. An example of using color with meaning would be: Assignments in red are due on Tuesdays and assignments in blue are due on Fridays.

  • Take Quiz 1
  • Participate in Discussion 1
  • Submit First Draft of Paper

You can use color in documentation, but you will want to add additional information to further enforce the color. An example of adding additional information to items distinguished by color would be: 

  • Take Quiz 1: Due Tuesday
  • Participate in Discussion 1: Due Tuesday
  • Submit First Draft of Paper: Due Friday

Colors should also have a high amount of contrast. For example, yellow text on a white background will be difficult for participants to view.

Accessibility Checker

Canvas has a built in accessibility checker within every rich text editor. It is recommended to use the accessibility checker while creating any content within a rich text editor within Canvas. The accessibility checker will make recommendations on color, alt text, table content, and more. Below is a link to a guide on how to use the accessibility checker.

Additional Resources

Keywordsaccessibility, captioning, color, checker, kaltura, 3Play media, self-captioning, online   Doc ID107139
OwnerMaggie L.GroupUW Parkside
Created2020-11-12 13:16 CSTUpdated2022-07-05 14:04 CST
SitesUW Parkside
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