Creating an Accessible Online Course
If you are posting a lecture with video, make sure you also provide captions. An alternative format to the video content will be beneficial not only for students with a hearing disability, but also for those who may be watching the video in a noisy environment or may just want the text reinforcement of the captions.
Example of an Accessible Lecture Using Camtasia Relay
How-to document: Record a Camtasia Relay Presentation with Captions Link
Watch a quick video on editing captions with Camtasia Relay
Provide the text equivalent of your video lecture. If you have created your lecture in PowerPoint, include a copy of your slides with the notes sections included as a text alternative. Create a PDF with notes from a PowerPoint file
YouTube videos with captioning:
Note: Most YouTube videos include a closed captioning (CC) button, but be sure to test these. YouTube videos may often be captioned using speech recognition technology and the quality of the captions can vary greatly.
How to search for closed captioned YouTube videos:
- Enter your search term in YouTube search field.
- Add , CC (comma, then CC)
- Click the magnifying glass icon to search.
- Only videos with closed captioning will appear in your search.
TED Talk videos also often provide captions. Click on the language dropdown menu (next to the fullscreen video option) and choose English subtitles.
You can also choose to view a print transcript of the talk. The transcript will display directly below the video, as shown here:
What if I can’t find a captioned video?
If you can’t find a captioned version of the video you want to use, check to see if you can find a transcript copy of the video, such as this ABC News “This Week” episode.
- Use descriptive text when using hyperlinks. Students using assistive technology such as screen reading software will read links on a page and may be reading this out of order. Include a description of what students will find when they click on the link.
For example, which one of the following provides more information about where students will be directed?
- Eliminate unused menu items/folders. Avoid “layering” items, such as placing a folder within a folder, so that students need to keep clicking on items to search for materials.
- Use sans serif fonts (e.g., Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana) throughout your Blackboard site. Use a dark color font that is easy to read on a white background.
- Don’t rely on color alone to express or emphasize information.
Blackboard How-To Guide: Getting Started With Creating Accessible Course Content
Video: 5 Best Practices for Creating an Accessible Online Course
So how do you, as an online instructor, know where to begin? Take a look at this video to introduce you to some accessible best practices for online learning you can use in your own course.|5-Best-Practices-Accessibility.pdf
NU Online Recommended Tools for Accessibility
Camtasia Relay. Adding captioning to your video lectures not only helps students with hearing difficulties, but it can also be beneficial for ESL students or students watching the video in a noisy environment. (See more information on captioning in the Camtasia Relay how-to section).
Blackboard Collaborate Voice Board: Students who may struggle with keeping up with a traditional text discussion board might find it beneficial to be able to post and respond in an audio-based discussion thread. (For more information on Voice Board, visit the Blackboard Collaborate Voice Tools How-to section.)
Blackboard Collaborate Voice Podcaster: Create an audio-based lecture along with a print transcript to give students the option of choosing which format works best for them. For a tutorial on how to add this into your course, visit the Blackboard Collaborate Voice Tools How-to section.
Disability Resource Center (www.northeastern.edu/drc)
Webaim.org: Web Accessibility in Mind
Cast.org: Center for Applied Special Technology
Blackboard: Accessibility Resources page