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Library Accessibility Services (LAS) and Campus Accessible Tech Space (CATS)

Information on the Library Accessibility Services and Campus Accessible Tech Space Departments

Responsibilities under AODA


Accessible Information in Education

Under the Information and Communications Standards, producers of educational materials must make textbooks and any other academic or training materials available in accessible formats by January 1st, 2020. For instance, accessibly produced materials include:

  • Handouts or lecture notes
  • Student records and information on program requirements
  • Visual classroom materials such as maps or globes

Equitable and Timely Accommodation

Educational institutions must provide accessible versions of all bought, borrowed, or created materials made available to other students in a timely fashion. Regardless of whether materials were required or optional, accommodated students must not unduly wait to receive material already available to their peers. 

How to Make Educational Materials Accessible

Institutions may make some materials accessible themselves. For instance, school staff can:

  • OCR image-only PDF documents using Adobe or SensusAccess type software
  • Provide multiple ways to access content (online, PDF, Word)
  • Photo-copy handouts with enlarged font
  • Emboss them on a Braille printer
  • Post course outlines or calendars on websites
  • Record audio versions of print book excerpts
  • Provide alt-text for images, or graphs
  • Create tactile maps, diagrams, or pictures
  • Provide captions for videos
  • Provide transcripts for audio

Alternatively, institutions may need to contract third-party companies to produce other materials, such as Braille textbooks or tactile maps. Producers of educational materials must provide accessible or conversion-ready formats to assist in conversion processes. Producers who cannot make material accessible must provide a valid explanation of why this was not possible and provide summaries of the non-convertible aspects. 

Instructors and/or teaching assistants needing support providing alternate formats for students with verified accommodations through Student Accessibility Services can contact Library Accessibility Services.

Read more on this and the AODA HERE.

Tips for Accessible Teaching

Here are some ideas to improve accessibility in the classroom.  Some of these suggestions may work for your situation; some may not.

  1. Provide multiple formats for handouts, articles, etc.
  2. Allow for alternate types of assignments ( test, portfolio, zine, presentation)
  3. Ensure all videos that are shown in class are captioned
  4. Provide PPT slides ahead of time
  5. Submit text adoptions early to the bookstore
  6. Use descriptive links when creating documents or sending emails
  7. Use clear and consistent layouts when designing web pages or even sending an email.  Ensure that information flows logically, and avoid jumping around
  8. Avoid cluttered slides with too much information
  9. Link to Word, HTML, ePubs and PDFs as a secondary source
  10. Ensure proper colour contrast
  11. Provide multiple sources to gain information, i.e. videos, articles, audio
  12. Ensure communication platforms are accessible and allow for multiple ways of access, i.e. email, avenue, teams
  13. Make assignment instructions and expectations clear
  14. Provide opportunities to practice the skills taught in class without significant risk.  (i.e. allow practice tests or assignments with feedback)
  15. Allow students time for activities, projects and tests, and be flexible that some may not be able to meet the deadlines (provide all assessment information at the beginning of the course)

Accessible Publishing

Born Digital

When creating a textbook or publishing research, one thing to think about is publishing your work in an accessible digital format.  Most researchers are familiar with creating digital content, and with a few minor changes, digital content can also be accessible.  There are many benefits to creating accessible digital content, the main advantage of being access for all.  In addition to improving access for those with disabilities, improving the accessibility of the material benefits those without disabilities, and it improves SEO (search engine optimization).  For more information on how to make those changes, please visit:

The Daisy Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base

Improving the Accessibility of your Mainstream Digital Content

Book Net Canada: Producing Born Accessible Books

Creating Accessible ePubs

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