What is academic accessibility?
Academic accessibility is the idea that all members of the CU community should have full and equal access to all aspects of academic life at the university, regardless of disability. When experiences are not inherently accessible to all individuals, departments must provide accommodations on an individual basis to people who are unable to access the content or experience in its original format.
Providing individual disability accommodations is essential for all people to have access, but accommodations are never as inclusive or efficient as content that is accessible to begin with. Academic content and processes that are accessible ahead of time can level the playing field, reduce the burden on students with disabilities, and generally improve usability and engagement for all learners.
What does this mean in practice? For lecture classes, it can be as simple as turning on captions for videos shown in class, or verbally describing the visual content of images or diagrams as they are shown to the class.
Who are we?
The Academic Accessibility Consulting Service (part of the Digital Accessibility Office) supports faculty and staff who have questions about how to make courses and academic content more accessible to students with disabilities. We also work to foster broad awareness and adoption of accessibility practices across campus.
Disability Services and ADA Compliance coordinate the provision of individual disability accommodations on campus. The Academic Accessibility Consulting Service works closely with both of these offices, but focuses on supporting proactive work to make academic content and experiences as accessible as possible, beyond individual accommodations.
What services do we offer?
Our services are available at no cost to all CU Boulder faculty, staff, and graduate students with instructional duties. We offer:
Consultations to assess the accessibility of specific documents, projects, or courses, along with guidance on how to address access issues that are identified. Consultations are flexible and tailored to meet your needs.
Self-study resources for learning more about accessibility. A variety of our resources can be found on the Accessible Technology Resources page.
Interactive professional development workshops on a wide variety of topics, from how to caption your own videos to how to create accessible PowerPoint presentations. Training can be conducted one-on-one, with a small group, or with a whole department.
Please email our team at DigitalAccessibility@colorado.edu if you are interested in any of our services or have questions about academic accessibility. We are here to help!
Anna Reid, Academic Accessibility Specialist
Laura Hamrick, Digital Accessibility Strategy and Outreach Manager