Accessibility Resources

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Accessibility is important in all aspects of your course. While the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards only requires institutions to provide accessible text-based and multimedia course materials upon request by a student with a disability, all instructors should nevertheless ensure that these materials meet a minimum level of accessibility.

The AODA gives students with disabilities the right to course materials of equivalent quality to other students enrolled in a course and the right to receive them a similar timeframe. To accomplish this, you should work beforehand to identify and reduce potential accessibility barriers in your course materials. Addressing these barriers proactively means you will be better able to create fully accessible course materials in a timely manner if a request to do so is received.

If you are asked to provide an accommodation that might jeopardize the integrity of your course, or you are not sure about what to do, email Student Accessibility Services or phone them at Ext. 56208. You may ask the student for the name of their SAS advisor and explain that you would like to consult to ensure you are following the appropriate protocol.

OpenEd Resources for Accessible Education

OpenEd is an active participant in various University accessibility committees and initiatives, and works with other departments at the University of Guelph to provide accessibility support and guidance on campus.

Additional Resources

Accessibility at the University of Guelph

The University offers several services and resources to its community members who experience disabilities with full and equitable participation in academic life. It strives towards creating a barrier-free environment where all students can achieve their potential.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Accommodation

Do I need to caption or transcribe every video I post in CourseLink? 
No. Captions or transcriptions are only required if a student has requested the accommodation (i.e., student request through SAS); however, many of our web conferencing platforms easily support the creation of transcripts for videos. 
Are live captions required for live synchronous classes? 
No, live captions are not required unless it is requested as an accommodation. 
Can I use PowerPoint automatic subtitles? 
This is not recommended. The quality of PowerPoint automatic subtitles degrades after several slides. Students can use to transcribe the audio from a voice-over PowerPoint or you can run your video recording through YouTube or Stream to automatically caption. 

Accessibility Use Cases, Tools and Resources

Use the following use case and tool-specific resources below to help you make your course materials accessible to all students.

Use Cases

The following use cases are examples of how to accommodate students in your class. Please note that, depending on the student’s needs, not all these requirements may need to be implemented.

  • Ensure that the documents you create and post to CourseLink are accessible—including alternative text for images, high print/background contrast, the use of headings styles, and meaningful hyperlinked text.
  • Add alternative text to images in Microsoft Word & PowerPoint, as well as to images within files created in CourseLink.
  • Provide students with accessible PDF files.
  • Evaluate article content for accessibility issues before posting to CourseLink. Consider installing a browser extension to simplify this process.
  • Avoid posting handwritten notes to CourseLink, as assistive technologies may struggle to read them correctly.
  • Provide students with copies of handouts and lecture slides in electronic formats and in advance of the lecture for which they are required.
  • Ensure that any textbooks, online exercises, or additional web resources are accessible.
  • Provide captioned or subtitled videos and transcribed audio whenever possible.
  • Consider recording a Zoom class or Teams class; recordings saved to the cloud are automatically transcribed and produce a rolling transcript that students can follow while watching.
  • Review your audio and video content for accessibility, if linking to video or audio from an external source (i.e., YouTube). If a video lacks captioning, check to see if a captioned version exists or look for an equivalent video that contains captions. Check your videos for visual information that is not provided in the audio track (e.g., foreign language translation subtitles). These videos may need video description or may need to be accompanied by a descriptive transcript. For more information, contact Athol Gow at Library Accessibility Services.


  • is an automatic transcription service. It is available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. can be used by faculty and students to generate a transcript or pre-recorded audio or video. Individuals will need to sign up for an account. The free account includes 600 minutes of transcription per month.
  • WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) Browser Extensions