Strategies for Creating Inclusive and Accessible Classroom and Course Materials
This is a hands-on workshop on creating accessible digital instructional materials. The workshop will include how to ensure all your “print” materials are accessible (textbooks, handouts, PDF files, PowerPoint, etc.) as well as ensure your audio or video files include captions and/or transcripts as needed. We will discuss where to source accessible content as well as what resources and tools are available on campus to create your own accessible course materials.
*** New workshops are being scheduled for MAY 2018! Check back soon!
Accessibility vs. Accommodations:
SAS focuses our efforts toward accessibility. This effort allows a broad continuum of users with/without disabilities to access programs, course materials, activities, and services. Individuals with varied needs may participate outright. (i.e. No one is restricted from using curb cuts and automatic door openers, yet it meets the needs of individuals whose mobility may be affected such as a person using a wheelchair.) Alternately, accommodations are provided to address that which is inaccessible. Accommodations generally are meant to address issues of inaccessibility for individuals with disabilities, (such accommodations may also meet the needs of others, e.g., temporary disabilities). The content that follows is intended to promote accessibility for diverse learners with or without disabilities or accommodation letters.
Re: Instructional Materials, SAS will notify faculty each semester of known students enrolled in identified courses where accessibility needs exist. This notification will occur after the enrollment process (Dec. 11th, for Spring 2018 classes).
Accommodation letters are sent by students and are to address classroom logistics that may affect access/performance due to a disability. These letters have no deadline but have no expectation for retroactive implementation.
Including an accessibility services statement in your syllabus serves two important functions.
- It lets the students know you are aware of the accommodations process and they should feel comfortable approaching you to discuss their specific accommodation letter in detail as needed.
- If the student has not yet connected with SAS, this statement provides necessary information on who to contact if they feel they may need accommodation services.
Make Textbook and Required Reading information available via courses.unh.edu:
Many students registered with SAS require print materials in a digital format to be used with Assistive Technology such as screen reader and text-to-speech software. As part of their accommodations, students and/or SAS will need to acquire a digital alternative to the printed books. Making your textbook information available as early as possible via the "courses.unh.edu" portal will facilitate this process. SAS works with the publishers to request the e-text, typically in a searchable PDF format for the student. (Note: The student is still required to purchase a copy of the printed book, or other e-book format before SAS can provide the PDF from the publisher.) When the book is not available digitally from the publisher, SAS will need to cut/scan the student's print copy and convert it to searchable text. This can be a time-consuming process, so the more advance notice we have, the better we can manage our workload.
Did you know you can also Edit Course Details in the mycourses.unh.edu portal?
SAS recommends including the following details for clarification:
- NO TEXTBOOK will be required
- Reading materials will be made available via CANVAS or other known source such as OpenStax, etc.
- If multiple books will be required, list them in the order they will be used in the course
- Add Syllabus or other course details not included in the course description
Why does this matter?
Reading continues to be the primary method students are expected to utilize when accessing new information and course materials in the learning environment. Most often, these reading materials are provided in a hard copy printed format.
However, there are many disabilities that interfere with reading standard “print” materials.
What is a Print Disability?
Functional definition, "A condition related to blindness, visual impairment, specific learning disability or other physical condition in which the student needs an alternative or specialized format (i.e., Braille, Large Print, Audio, Digital text) in order to access and gain information from conventional printed materials." (Maine AIM Community of Practice)
Multiple forms of "READING" include:
- “Eye reading”—scanning words on the printed page or on screen (may require magnification)
- “Ear reading” – audio books, screen readers and text-to-speech software (video demo).
- “Finger reading” – braille, tactile access to words on the page.
How Disability impacts the Reading Process:
- Blind-- requires using a screen reader, or braille.
- Low vision – requires magnification and/or manipulation of fonts and display settings
- Color blindness, Sensitivity to light --requires customization display settings
- Physical —may not have the mobility and dexterity to handle books or manipulate pages.
- Learning/ dyslexic/ attention –each has an impact on the rate of reading, fluency, and comprehension.
What is "digital text"?
Digital text is often referred to as “Alternate Format or e-Text”
When text is digital, the end user can control its format to meet his/her individual reading needs with a variety of assistive technologies or device settings. (This supports the CAST UDL -Universal Design for Learning principle of “multiple means of representation”.
Quick Test -- try "selecting text" from within your PDF to copy/paste into another document.
|If the PDF is only an image of the text, you will see a blue box in the middle of your paragraph.||
If the PDF is searchable, you will see it capture all the text as shown above.
Good news: There are many natively digital options available for print materials.
- e-books (from the library or publisher sources)
- Full-text PDF's from digital databases
- Online digital journal articles
"Scanned" or image only PDF’s posted to Canvas (i.e. scanned article or book chapter) can be very problematic if the image quality is poor and the text has not been “recognized” to make the document searchable using (OCR—Optical Character Recognition) software.
1. Search the UNH Library for full-text PDF via online databases or ProQuest e-books.
2. Utilize the UNH Library e-Reserves service (they provide single-page searchable PDF’s).
3. Use the Book Scanner stations in the Dimond Library --
Located on the 3rd floor by the public print stations,
near the Reference Desk.
Instructions for Scanning to Searchable PDF
are available at each of the 2 Book Scanning Stations.
**** NEW INFORMATION: CREATE SEARCHABLE PDF FILES FROM YOUR DEPARTMENT'S XEROX COPIER ****
SAS in collaboration with Print Services has recently discovered that MOST Academic Department Xerox Workstations DO have the ability to create searchable PDF files by changing some of the default settings. Please contact Maureen Bourbeau (SAS) or Phil Hammond (Print Services) to request changing the default settings on your specific department's Xerox machine.
NOTE: The quality of the scanned image will greatly impact the accuracy of the text recognition.
Avoid source documents that contain any of the following:
- Color highlighting or underlining
- Margin notes or other handwriting
- Folds, creases, stains on the paper
- Previously photocopied documents
Use the Email option on the Copier and Adjust the scan settings as noted below:
NOTE: The specific user interface varies by Xerox Model. Detailed instructions coming soon.
Contact Maureen.firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
General adjustments (prior to changing default settings) include:
- Email tab-- Output Color -- change to Black and White or Grayscale, NOT "Auto Detect"
- Advanced Settings tab-- Resolution-- change from 200 dpi to 300 dpi
- Layout Adjustment tab -- Original Size -- Custom Scan Area:
- Measure the exact dimensions of your page with a ruler and enter the exact X and Y dimensions of your page. (Be sure to scan one page at a time!)
- Email Options tab-- File Format -- PDF--(change “Image Only” to “Searchable” ) if available on your copier.
Converting existing scanned PDF files to searchable PDFs.
If you have an existing image PDF (that is good quality), or you recently created a new scan but did not have the “create searchable PDF” option available to you, there are a couple of options for making these searchable after the fact.
- Use Adobe Acrobat Pro to Recognize Text in the PDF to make it searchable.
Note: Adobe Acrobat Pro X is available on all the Campus Cluster Computers (see map)
See Instructions for using Acrobat X
Send the PDF to this free conversion service, RoboBraille.
The searchable PDF file will be emailed back to you in a few minutes.
See detailed instructions for using RoboBraille
Always Test your Searchable Scanned PDF’s for Accuracy:
Cut and Paste a random paragraph from your searchable PDF into a blank Word Doc and look for spelling/word errors. A poor quality scanned image may result in multiple recognition errors. The text you see in the Word document is what a student would "hear" when using text-to-speech software. If the text is NOT accurate-- consider rescanning to get a cleaner source image or contact SAS for assistance. (we have other OCR software tools that allow us to edit the underlying text).
As more and more video is integrated into the educational environment, our accessibility compliance obligation requires that all video/audio content include captions and/or a transcript if there is a student with hearing loss in the course.
Video Captions also benefit students without disabilities.
See the IT Knowledgebase article Why Caption? for more information.
- For non-native English-speaking students, providing captions will improve comprehension of your lecture videos.
- For Instructors with English as a secondary language, providing captions will help improve student comprehension.
- Captions help your students understand, spell, and properly pronounce discipline-specific terminology.
- Captions provide better cognitive reinforcement. Some students learn better while they read.
- Captions can make your lecture content searchable using keywords, via the Media Gallery.
- Captions allow videos to be viewed with the sound off in places like the library.
Look for video content that already contains closed captioning.
Good sources include:
TEDTalks contain accurate captions in multiple languages.
PBS, major TV networks, and educational websites often include accurate captions.
Kanopy (UNH video streaming service --available to all students, faculty, and staff via a UNH login) containing over 30,000 videos.
Search within Subjects: Movies, Documentaries, The Arts, Business, Education, Global Studies & Languages, Health, Media & Communications, Sciences, Social Sciences, Instructional Films and Lessons.
NOTE: Many of these videos include captions (see images below)
|Click on the CC button to turn on captions when showing the video in class.||
If the CC button is crossed-out, simply click on the button to request captions be added to that title for FREE. The turnaround time is approximately 2-10 days.
What can I do if my videos are NOT Captioned?
Any Video that does not already contain accurate captions will need to be uploaded into Kaltura via MyMedia with Canvas. See the IT Knowledgebase Kaltura Overview for more information.
Step 1: Upload your video to Kaltura via MyMedia in Canvas.
(NOTE: If you have NOT yet used MyMedia, you will first need to enable MyMedia and Media Gallery in your Canvas Menu.)
Once the video is uploaded, it will go through the Kaltura auto-generated caption process.
Step 3: Embed the Kaltura video into your Canvas content page/Module using the "embed tool" in the Canvas WYSIWYG editor. See the IT Knowledgebase for instructions.
Step 4: **Consider publishing your video to the Media Gallery where the captions will be searchable.
** This may benefit many students, particularly when reviewing Lecture Capture videos.
See the IT Knowledgebase, Kaltura: Media Gallery for instructions on this process.
Types of Video Content and How to Upload into Kaltura:
Lecture Capture videos:
Tegrity-- faculty created lecture capture videos
See instructions on How to extract Tegrity mp4 file to upload into Kaltura/MyMedia
CaptureSpace-- faculty created lecture capture videos.
NOTE: Video will be uploaded directly into Kaltura upon completion of the Capture session.
Recording Tips for Maximizing Caption Accuracy.
- Know what you are going to say. Be prepared or draft a script.
- Record in a quiet setting away from phones, background noises, interruptions, etc.
- Silence your cell phone and any alerts on your computer such as email or RSS feeds.
- Use a quality microphone. Consider a headset microphone that plugs into your USB or audio jack on your computer. Avoid using the built-in microphone as the quality is limited.
- Be aware of your speaking volume and speed. You may want to do a short test video and listen to it on playback before getting too far along.
Suggested Lecture Capture Video for all Canvas courses:
Consider creating a Welcome and Canvas Orientation video for each of your courses which explains how you have it organized and where to find announcements, assignments, etc. This could be a great way to practice using the CaptureSpace tool and this would be extremely useful to your students who often don’t remember what you said on the first day of class!
DVD video without subtitles or captions:
DVDs without captions will also need to be “ripped”/downloaded to the computer before being uploaded into Kaltura/MyMedia. This can be done using a free software tool called Handbrake. (see Handbrake instructions)
1st Step--Review the YouTube video captions for accuracy:
Click on the CC button in the lower right corner of the video to turn on captions then look at the message in the top left corner of the screen. (NOTE: if there is no CC button, then there are no captions!)
|If you see a caption language, i.e. English, the captions should be accurate and you can simply embed this captioned video into your Canvas page.|
** If you see the words (auto-generated), then you will need to review your entire video to check for errors. And since you cannot edit YouTube video you don't own, you will likely need to download it and run it through Kaltura.
CAUTION: “auto-generated” captions typically contain many errors, do not include any capitalization or punctuation which can be difficult to follow without hearing, and can be distracting and confusing.
In the deaf community, these are referred to as “craptions”. #nomorecraptions
** If the YouTube or other external source does NOT include accurate captions, the video will need to be downloaded to your computer and then uploaded into Kaltura via MyMedia.
You can go to www.keepvid.com and download the video by pasting the URL into the Download edit box.
Once the video is downloaded, follow steps 1-4 above.