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Disability Services and Support

Creating Accessible Course Materials

There are many things you can do to make your classroom, course materials, and teaching more accessible to all students, including those who identify as having a disability.

Ensuring that all students have equal access to electronic and information technology teaching methods and resources is the responsibility of all University of Rochester administrators, faculty, and staff. Access by students with disabilities in particular is required by federal and state laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (as amended in 2008), Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the New York State Human Rights Law, among others. Included in the definition of electronic and information technology is all electronic instructional materials (syllabi, textbooks, presentations, handouts, etc.), including videos, whether delivered within the University's learning management system, in face-to-face classes, or in an alternate fashion (email, course websites, blogs, etc.). Also included are electronic instructional activities (online collaborative writing, web conferencing, etc.). Students with hearing and visual impairments, as well as other disabilities, may have difficulty using electronic technology to learn, and must be accommodated.

To ensure that disabled students are able to access content in a timely way along with other students, it is vital that faculty attend to technology accessibility issues before the resources are required by the student with disabilities.

The University provides the information below to guide faculty in meeting their access obligations. But as stated, the faculty have the primary and ultimate responsibility to ensure that their instructional content is accessible in every course they teach. For specific questions or instructions, contact the designated access coordinator for your school.

General information about Accessibility

General Text Content

Accessibility of electronic materials applies to everything from complex multimedia to simple text, including documents that you provide to students.

Use of Images

Use of images to convey meaning in instruction requires alternative textual context for students with vision impairments.

PDF Files

PDF files require special care in accessibility. Please review the requirements for PDF files carefully.

Audio and Video Content

Audio and video content must be made accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Virtual Classroom Environment

Students with disabilities must be able to participate in any mandatory web conferencing components of your course.

Contact Us

Office of Disability Resources 
Student Disability Services
Jen Prosceo, Director
Taylor Hall


Lynnett Van Slyke
University Ombuds and Associate Vice Provost of Disability Compliance
36 Wallis Hall