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Office of IDEAS

Making Course Materials Accessible

Fresno State is committed to ensuring that all individuals experience a welcoming and accessible campus. Below are resources for faculty members to support our efforts and ensure that we meet our responsibilities regarding accessibility. Faculty responsibilities for course content accessibility are outlined in APM 237.

If you need support to ensure that course content and the learning environment is accessible, schedule an accessible course content consultation.

Best Practices for Faculty

  • Use the accessible syllabus template, provided every semester by the Office of Undergraduate Studies. IDEAS Instructional Designers can help you make your syllabi accessible for all students. Templates for face-to-face syllabi and fully online/hybrid courses are available for faculty to use.
  • Post your syllabus and course materials on Canvas.
  • Enable the Accessibility Report for your course in Canvas to identify resources that need attention. Follow the steps for remediating files and reach out to our office for support with challenging documents.
  • Ensure that PDF and Word documents used in your class are accessible and can be used with a screen reader. Sometimes the text is not text – it’s actually a picture – that is not vocalized by screen readers. Accessibility Quick Start Checklist
  • Use a "sans serif" font, such as Arial, Calibri, Century Gothic, Helvetica, Tahoma, and Verdana. Complex or decorative fonts (serif-type fonts) are not recommended. Choosing simpler and cleaner sans-serif fonts is advised for clearer and more accessible content.
  • Ensure that images have alternate text descriptions that convey the full meaning of the image.
  • Check that all videos used in class are captioned, and audio files have text transcriptions. Review automatically captioned videos to ensure accuracy and correct errors. Faculty are encouraged to review information about the CSU system-wide policy for captioning prioritization.
  • Order your textbooks for fall and winter sessions by April 15th, and for spring and summer by October 31st. Early textbook orders ensure accessible texts will be available for students requiring alternative formats. Meeting the deadlines also helps students reduce the cost of their course materials and is part of the "Be A Hero" campaign at Fresno State.

Resources for Making Documents Accessible