Who’s Responsible for Accessibility in Online Courses

Accessibility is a shared responsibility. Adhering to web accessibility guidelines while developing your online/blended course will benefit all students, including those with visual, hearing, mobility, and learning disabilities. 

Instructor Responsibilities

As the subject matter expert, the instructor:

  • Designs and develops clear course structure and organization.
  • Creates accessible course documents, link here for information can be found on accessible documents
  • Uses captioned media, audio/video, where possible. 
  • Uses alternative text descriptions for images, graphs, and tables.
  • Ensures that software and web applications used in the course are accessible.
  • Works with Student Disability Services (SDS) and/or the Center for Teaching Innovation to make course materials accessible. 

Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) Responsibilities

As online/blended course development consultants, CTI:

  • Provides accessible course design and development consultation.
  • Reviews existing and new courses for best practices and quality standards in accessibility.
  • Facilitates the captioning process for course video and audio materials.
  • Assists with determining which course materials may need to be made accessible.
  • Provides recommendations for guides, tools, and information on how to make course materials accessible.
  • Provides Blackboard Course Template accessibility statement/resources. 

Student Disability Services (SDS) 

As the support service for student accessibility, SDS:

  • Determines eligibility for disability services through review of documentation and assessment of individual student needs.
  • Disseminates information to instructors regarding reasonable accommodations for students.
  • Facilitates academic and environmental accommodations and services.
  • Educates the campus community about disability issues.
  • Assists Cornell students with disabilities to ensure access to the same opportunities as their peers with the greatest degree of independence possible. 

For more information, please contact: sds_cu@cornell.edu or visit Student Disability Services.