Online Course-in-a-Box

Table of Contents 
Media Accessibility

While the use of media can be an effective mode for engaging students with course content, it can burden students with disabilities. In producing educational media, efforts must be made to provide equivalent content for students who cannot engage the material via sight or sound: for audio-only, a transcript; for video, closed captions and audio descriptions. Since audio descriptions are currently at the limit of campus accommodation capabilities, it is best to avoid forcing students.

Likewise, care should be taken in designing your online course to provide high-contrast visual aids that are unlikely to appear as informative as intended to audiences with color-blindness or poor eyesight.

Best Practices

  • Provide a transcript for audio recordings.
  • Provide captions for video recordings.
  • Provide a screen-reader friendly version of any informative visual aids that appear in a video (a Powerpoint, pdf, html, or Word document with labeled images, etc. as makes sense for the type of visual aid).
  • Avoid referring to portions of visual aids with demonstrative pronouns. Instead of this line/that line, label the lines and refer to them by the labels, for example.
  • Use media distribution services provided by campus, whenever possible.


Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES) provides campus-wide services for students with disabilities


For media-specific assistance, contact:


The Coblis Color Blindness Simulator can provide assurance that the color choices you’re using in a visual aid will not confuse your students who may be color blind

Watch Born Accessible, a short video by CITL Instructional Media Resources. 

Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA):

21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010:

Campus Administrative Manual, Policy on Multimedia Accessibility: