Accessibility Policy for Classroom Instruction
Bryn Mawr College is committed to ensuring accessible instruction and course materials for all individuals. “Accessible” means that every student is able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe, and with substantially equivalent ease of use. The following requirements and recommendations help ensure that the College meets this commitment.
The following are required of all faculty members in their classrooms and class-related activities:
- All syllabi must include the appropriate statement on accessibility. See a sample statement on accessibility.
- All videos (movies, DVDs, YouTube, etc.) shown in class must be captioned accurately and captions must be turned on and properly sized for the room when they are shown.
- For any class in which a guest speaker or student provides class content (including TA sessions and labs), faculty members must provide a copy of the requirements set forth in this document to the presenter(s) and inform them that they must provide their lectures/content in an accessible way.
- For all course materials:
- All documents that are uploaded to Moodle, and are part of the reading requirement for the course, must be accessible. This includes any scans of books or journal articles.
- All books that are required reading must be available in a version that is compatible with text-to-speech software. Please note that e-books and online versions of textbooks are not necessarily accessible with text-to-speech software. If you are uncertain, check with Educational Technology Services or Access Services before making an e-book required reading for the course.
- All videos (movies, DVDs, YouTube, etc.) expected to be screened outside of class as part of the course requirement must be captioned. If videos are shown in a group setting, captions must be accurate, turned on, and properly sized for the room.
- All websites, digital textbook supplements, and digital software or services that students are required to use in your course must meet appropriate web or software accessibility standards. Many educational publishers provide information about accessibility on their websites or upon request. If your publisher does not provide this information, Educational Technology Services can help you.
The following recommendations may be useful in ensuring that classroom instruction is accessible to all students, and will be required if determined by Access Services that such action is necessary as part of a plan to provide a reasonable accommodation to an individual student:
- Provide the course syllabus in an accessible digital format and post it on Moodle.
- Have an accessible digital version of all tests, handouts, problem sets, and/or homework available.
- If a test is not designed to measure students’ basic skills, allow appropriate tools such as a calculator, dictionary, and/or other memory aids.
- To meet minimum standards for visibility:
- Whiteboards: Use high-contrast markers (blue, black), unless other colors are necessary.
- Blackboards: Use high-contrast chalk (white or yellow), unless other colors are necessary.
- Whiteboards and blackboards: Use appropriate-sized letters/writing (2” minimum height and then 1” additional per 10’ of usable classroom size beyond 20’).
- PowerPoint: Use high-contrast colors and Sans Serif fonts (Ariel) in 18 pt. or larger. The projected size of your PowerPoint text conforms to the same standards as that for whiteboards. Because there is a dynamic relationship between screen size, projector distance and resolution, and font size, judge your PowerPoints in the classroom and 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.
- Make available in a digital format any important, content-bearing images (diagrams, pictures, and other visual components of a class) that are used regularly, and distribute them in time for class to augment or replace hand-drawn versions on the board.
- Use the microphone in classrooms large enough to require the use of one.
- Rephrase or repeat student questions and comments when addressing them for the group, especially when meeting in a room that requires a microphone and the student with the question/comment is not provided a microphone.
- Designate a class note-taker. This could be a rotating responsibility, shared by the class and/or could count as class participation/contribution. Notes can be posted for everyone after each class on Moodle or the class website.
- Provide an outline of class lectures to all students in advance of the class meeting, highlighting important topics that will be covered in that class. After class, add important material that is covered in class that was not set forth in the outline.
- Provide digital transcripts for videos in advance of showing them in class. Note, however, this does not supplant the captioning requirement.