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Accessible Library Instruction

Key Tips

In-Person:

  • Ask the instructor for any accessibility needs that need to be met when scheduling the session
    • This can be as simple as an email asking if there are accessibility needs that you should be aware of
  • Provide all teaching materials in advance for students, when possible
    • Provide teaching materials in alternate formats, if requested
  • Set clear expectations for the outcomes of the class and how students can participate
    • Include a slide with an agenda and/or learning outcomes at the start of the session
    • This helps students know what to expect from the session and can structure their learning within that session
  • Face the direction of the students when speaking
    • This improves audibility and facilitates lipreading
  • Repeat any questions or comments that are made by students 
  • Use a microphone for larger classes
    • This includes using the microphone while presenting, and passing the microphone to student during questions
  • Verbally explain any images or diagrams on the screen 
    • Point to, or highlight, specific aspects of the image or diagram, if discussing in further detail
  • Provide frequent pauses for students to catch up with their notetaking
    • During pauses, ask if any one has questions about what has been covered so far
  • Provide opportunities for students to contact you and follow up outside of class
    • This can include providing your email, phone, etc. on introductory/closing slides and verbally describing your contact information
    • This provides students with opportunities to ask questions and/or request additional materials

Videos:

  • Caption everything
  • Include a transcript with description, especially if the audio does not match what is on the screen
  • Utilize accessible colour contrasts
  • Create slides that are as simple as possible so that your audio represents what is on the screen
  • Include information on how resources can be accessed for different learner needs
  • Incorporate text font and size that is accessible to screen and text readers

Synchronous Remote Teaching

  • Ask the instructor for any accessibility needs that need to be met as you are scheduling the session
  • Provide clear expectations for the outcomes of the class and how students can participate
  • Identify specific tools or functions that are available for students to use during the session 
  • Position the camera so that students can clearly see your face
    • This facilitates lipreading
  • Read aloud any questions or comments that are typed into the chat or Q&A functions
  • Provide a transcript, when possible
  • Utilize real-time captioning

Teaching Materials:

  • Create materials that are as simple as possible so content is easy to follow
    • Avoid large blocks of text and cluttering a page/slide with too much simultaneous content
  • Include alternate texts for images, graphics, tables etc.
    • This is what is read by a screen reader when it comes across an image
    • It should be descriptive enough to make clear what that image is
    • See this WebAIM page on alternative text
  • Utilize accessible colour contrasts
  • Include PDFs with Optical Character Recognition for screen readers
  • Incorporate text font and size that is accessible to screen and text readers
  • Use style elements, such as headings, to organize the structure of the document
  • Avoid providing links that say 'click here'
    • Instead, provide a link that describes the content of the destination