Face to Face Accessibility Expectations and Recommendations

These standards have been developed based on existing ADA standards, in consultation with our faculty and with other institutions facing similar challenges. (Updated 8/4/17)

Face to Face Lectures

  • Recommendation: Provide an outline of class lectures to all students in advance of the class meeting. These outlines should, at a minimum, highlight the testable topics that will be covered in that class. In addition, consider any testable material that is covered in class that was not planned and outlined be reinforced in a follow-up announcement.
  • Expectation: In-class Visual Text Sources should meet minimum standards for visibility:
  • Whiteboards: Use high contrast markers (black, blue and red recommended) unless other colors are necessary
  • Blackboards : Use high contrast chalk (white or yellow recommended) unless color is necessary
  • Whiteboard and Blackboards: Use appropriate-sized letters (2” minimum height and then 1” additional per 10’ of usable classroom size beyond 20’)
  • PowerPoint: Use high contrast colors and do not use font sizes below 18 pt. Use Sans Serif fonts (Arial). The projected size of your PowerPoint text should conform to the same standards as that for whiteboards. Because there is a dynamic relationship between screen size, projector distance and resolution, and font size, you will have to judge your PowerPoints in the classroom and be prepared to adjust font size if necessary.
  • All content presented visually: Narrate/describe what is written on the blackboard/whiteboard/PowerPoint or other format. Describe images and charts as you work through the material in class. Enlarge text as needed.
  • Expectation: In classrooms large enough to require use of a microphone, use the microphone provided.
  • Recommendation: Present new or technical vocabulary in a handout, digitally, or on the board.

In-Class Discussions

  • Expectation: Rephrase or repeat student questions and comments when addressing them for the group when you are lecturing in a room that requires a microphone.
  • Recommendation: Rephrase or repeat student questions and comments when addressing them for the group when you are lecturing in any classroom.
  • Recommendation: If the class has important discussion, especially if the discussion deals with testable material, consider following up with an email/announcement after class.

In-Class Media

  • Recommendation: Provide transcripts of any videos or films in advance of showing them in class. If a transcript is not available, provide a summary that includes all testable information of the video/film in advance
  • Expectation: Preview captions used in in-class video to ensure accuracy and to assess size of caption text (see above). If the captions are not accurate, don't use them. If the captions are too small, alert students at the start of class that those who plan to read the captions may want to sit in the front of the class.
  • Recommendation: Only show videos that have accurate and available captions.

Assessments and Exams

  • Recommendation: Create and provide digital versions of all exams and assessments as an option.
  • Recommendation: Supply study questions that demonstrate both the content and the format of upcoming tests. Explain what would be considered a good answer and why.
  • Recommendation: When a test is not designed to measure students’ basic skills, allow appropriate tools such as a calculator, scratch paper, or a dictionary for exams.

Course Communication

  • Recommendation: Maintain copies (ideally in a digital format) of all content provided to students.
  • Expectation: Provide the course syllabus online in Blackboard, in an accessible format
  • Recommendation: Provide course syllabus at least two weeks before class begins through Banner and/or Blackboard.
  • Recommendation: Communicate with students in a digital/accessible way that also keeps a record of those communications (We recommend Blackboard’s Announcement features, which will both send an email and provide that announcement on the course home page.

Guest Speakers

  • Expectation: Provide a copy of these expectations and recommendations to any guest speakers so they can provide their lectures in an accessible way.