information iconResources for Accessible Teaching

The instructional design team at UMKC Online has curated the following resources for faculty regarding accessible instruction. This page includes UMKC-based resources as well as other reputable online content organized by category. New resources are added regularly, so please bookmark this page and check back often.

UMKC Resources

Online Course Accessibility [PowerPoint]

Presentation describing issues related to the development of accessible online courses.

UMKC Office of Services for Students with Disabilities

Provides a range of support services tailored to the individual student, including admissions arrangements, auxiliary aids (interpreters, note takers, readers, etc.), books in alternative formats, advising/counseling, adapted equipment/computers, and so on. Information about the Center can be found at,, and 816-235-5612.

Accessible Services and Resources at UMKC Libraries

The Miller Nichols Library is committed to providing services and assistance to all members of the UMKC community in the areas of building access, research and materials, and adaptive technology. Information about all services offered can be found at

The UMKC Libraries Copyright Support Team is available to help answer questions and advise faculty on the use and licensing of media in their courses. Information and resources can be found at .

UMKC librarians work to make sure any streaming video content provided by the library has closed captioning. Faculty can search this comprehensive list of video databases to request feature films, documentaries, and educational videos:

UMKC Institute for Human Development

One of 67 national University Centers for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), the Institute for Human Development develops partnerships for effective social change at the local, state, and national level. IHD projects focus on the larger concepts of community inclusion through diversity, cultural competency, and social capital. More information can be found at

Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning

AccessDL (The Center on Accessible Distance Learning)

This comprehensive resource from the University of Washington provides guidance and resources on making distance learning courses accessible to students and instructors with disabilities.

Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)

A nonprofit education research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. Rooted in the learning sciences, UDL is a set of principles that instructors can use as an effective tool for designing and implementing inclusive learning environments.

GRADE: Georgia Tech Research on Accessible Distance Education

Committed to improving the accessibility of distance education for students with disabilities throughout the nation by providing technical assistance, training, and research. Resources include examples of real-world courses designed for accessibility, and simple fact sheets covering essential points of accessible design.

Accessible Word Documents

UMKC Syllabus Policies (Accessible Version)

Boilerplate policies you can copy and paste into your syllabus.

UMKC Faculty Guide to Creating Accessible Word Documents

Dedicated video tutorials on each aspect of Word accessibility.

An Accessible Syllabus: Before and After [Zip File]

Practice files for creating an accessible syllabus in MS Word
Sample Syllabus BEFORE
Sample Syllabus AFTER

Accessible Images

WebAIM Accessible Image Tutorial

This comprehensive tutorial from WebAIM provides guidance on image accessibility strategies that go beyond alt text. Areas covered include Images Can Enhance Comprehension, Color and Contrast, Pixelation of Enlarged Images, and Graphics That Cause Seizures. Images Concepts Tutorial

This in-depth and detailed tutorial demonstrates how to provide appropriate text alternatives based on the purpose of the image. Each functional category includes examples.

Complex Image Accessibility

A useful tutorial and resources list for complex image description.

W3C: Complex Images Tutorial

A resource that shows different approaches for providing such short and long descriptions.

Effective Practices for Description of Science Content

Science-based images often present an additional challenge to accessibility due to the complexity of the subject and the amount of information they convey. Such visual displays often convey information with some sort of organizational hierarchy. As a result, they can be confusing for all learners, especially for those with visual or cognitive impairments. NCAM provides a set of general guidelines on increasing accessibility to STEM images.

Accessibility Tools Training: How Do We Access Meaning in Art?

A useful resource for considering issues of art access for all users. Includes testimonials from a blind user on how she experiences art.

Accessibility features of SVG

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) offers a number of features to make graphics on the Web more accessible than is currently possible, to a wider group of users. Users who benefit include users with low vision, color blind or blind users, and users of assistive technologies. A number of these SVG features can also increase usability of content for many users without disabilities, such as users of personal digital assistants, mobile phones or other non-traditional Web access devices. Accessibility requires that the features offered by SVG are correctly used and supported. This Note describes the SVG features that support accessibility and illustrates their use with examples.

Web Accessibility Evaluators

The following tools can be used to check that alt text is included for the images on a website.


Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT)

Links to the programs and initiatives of MoAT.

AccessIT: National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education

Resources to help educational entities purchase, develop and use information technology that is welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities. Learn more at

NCAM: National Center for Accessible Media

Promotes a range of accessible technology resources and research for educational media. Highlights include image description training and captioning software.

Natural Reader

Natural Reader is a professional text to speech program that converts any written text into spoken words.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Official Site

Information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For a variety of stakeholders to easily find guidance, tools, and resources for understanding and implementing Section 508.

Guidelines and Best Practices

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Recommendations for making Web content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities and often more usable to users in general at


If you had to bookmark just one accessibility resource, this would be it. Information, training, resources, guidelines and standards for Web accessibility and disability access to the Web all at

Online Accessibility Handbook

A comprehensive and user-friendly how-to guide from Portland Community College.

Publisher Materials

Bookshare: An Accessible Online Library for People with Print Disabilities

Offers the world’s largest collection of accessible titles at

Questions to Ask Before Adopting Publisher Materials

A great list of questions from Portland Community College. See the full list at

Making Math Accessible

The folks at DO-IT have produced this helpful article on how to make math accessible to students with disabilities. Includes list of vendors who provide accessible math materials: