Accessibility & Accommodation

UW–Madison is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive learning environment in any circumstance. In the event of an emergency disruption and a shift to teaching remotely, accessibility and disability-related accommodations must be provided so that students, faculty and staff can fully participate. The following recommendations focus on the most critical accessibility and accommodation considerations when moving courses, content and assessments from in-person to remote formats in a constrained timeframe. Additional accessibility considerations may be needed based on the accommodations of specific students in your course(s) or when the university is operating under more typical conditions.

What to Consider

Student Accommodations

Student accommodations may need to be adapted or adjusted for an online environment, and will depend on your course content and assessments. Please be in touch with students to discuss updated accommodation plans for your course.

  • For a listing of student accommodations in each section login to McBurney Connect.
  • For questions: Contact a student’s Access Consultant at the McBurney Disability Resource Center.

Faculty & Instructional Staff Accommodations

If you have a disability, consider how transitioning from in-person to remote may impact your teaching.

Minimum Standards for Accessible Online Instruction and Content

The content below is excerpted from a more comprehensive guide to creating accessible online course content.

  • Faculty are strongly encouraged to include an accessibility statement in their syllabus, and to reference it when presenting the course standards to their classes. A sample syllabus statement is available, which you can customize to inform students on how best to notify you regarding accommodation requests. 
  • If you have a student who uses media or real-time captioning, or who uses a sign language interpreter as an approved disability-related accommodation, captioning of video content and transcription of audio-only content is required, and you should have received communications from the McBurney Disability Resource Center. Otherwise, it is strongly recommended to caption video content and provide transcripts of audio content.
  • When you are creating your own content, create well-structured documents and consider the accessibility of the content. Review guidance for making Word or PowerPoint documents accessible. If you post documents as PDFs in Canvas, be prepared to share the original documents, as they will be more accessible. 
  • If you must use scanned documents rather than native digital documents, they need to be of high visual quality and a resolution of at least 300dpi. Text should not be highlighted or underlined, binding shadows should not be present, lines should not be clipped, and text must be readable, even when enlarged.
  • When providing timed quizzes or exams, use the Time Extension Guide for Canvas

How to Get Help