Notifications for Course Accessibility
Appalachian is committed to ensuring an inclusive environment for disabled individuals and federal disability laws require accessible content to ensure the opportunity for people with disabilities to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as others.
Faculty may learn about course format accessibility needs through a student Accommodation Plan or Faculty Planning email.
Notice from an Accommodation Plan
Faculty may also learn of course accessibility needs from a student when they discuss their disability-approved accommodations outlined on the student’s Accommodation Plan. Generally, when faculty are notified this way without having received a notice prior to the start of the semester, it is a student: whose accommodations would not require significant pre-planning, who has recently connected with ODR, or who registered for courses outside of the early registration period.
While not all faculty will receive a planning email, faculty may use the following considerations for any course regarding accessible format. Often it is thought that there is a universal format that will meet all needs. In reality, providing a variety of formats or ways to access material is often a more Universal approach to providing accessible content which meets a variety of individual requisites.
Notice from Faculty Planning Email
During the early registration period each semester, ODR sends email notices for the upcoming semester directly to faculty regarding planning for course format accessibility needs. Early notice allows faculty time to review course formats, consult as needed, and remediate inaccessible aspects. These planning emails are sent during Early Registration through: December 15 (for Spring semester) and May 15 (for Summer and Fall semesters).
Not all Faculty Planning emails include individual student names. Until a student shares their Accommodation Plan, Generally, ODR does not include the student name until a student shares their Accommodation Plan as the specific name is not a relevant need-to-know in order to bring attention to course accessibility needs.
Next Steps After Receiving a Faculty Planning Email
Upon receiving a Faculty Planning Email, faculty should review course content soon after notice is received to determine if remediation is needed and understand resources available. For some courses and formats there is little to be adjusted, but for others there may be more time intensive format changes which need to occur. If a course has not yet fully been planned it is still beneficial to review the format considerations right away, so that materials may be “born accessible”; meaning content can be created accessible from the start, versus creating content and then needing to go back and remediate the format for accessibility.
Use the Disability Impact Area outlined in the email notice to:
Review pertinent information as follows and determine needed remediation
Understand resources available
Remediate content or follow up with ODR for consultation
Accessibility Considerations for Specific Areas of Disability Impact
The following resources are available to support faculty in creating accessible content:
Course Accessibility Review or Consultation
For individualized assistance faculty can consult with trained CETLSS Instructional Design Specialists, or ODR for in-depth, course-specific accessibility guidance.
Schedule a review or appointment with ODR
We appreciate your partnership and are open to reviewing content, making action plans, or discussing any questions or concerns you may have.
ODR staff can preview AsULearn content by request, for the purpose of assisting faculty in assessing course content accessibility. If you have content available via AsUlearn, and request that ODR to do a secondary review of content, please follow up.
A consultation may be valuable in whatever stage of planning you are in for this course. We send notice prior to the upcoming semester to provide adequate time for faculty to review, consult, convert, modify, remediate, or consider accessible work-arounds for the content you utilize. While a consultation is typically not needed for disability impact areas including: Reading or Low Vision, or Hard of Hearing or Deaf content considerations, if you would like to schedule an appointment to talk through course format and options, Appointments may be scheduled in advance by calling or submitting an ODR appointment request.
For access considerations related to format for students who are blind, or who experience impact on mobility, faculty will receive a request for a consultation with an ODR representative in order to assist in prioritization of accessibility.