Sharing the responsibility of accessibility

You are an amazing instructor. You have designed a brilliant online course. The semester is about to start. You click that “make course available” button in Blackboard and you have never been more ready.

Then you find out that one of your students is blind. You realize some of your readings are scanned images of book chapters. You have required videos that feature minimal narration or description of on-screen content. Your syllabus section titles are bolded text, not structured headings. And the course starts tomorrow. You hear that sound effect from “Inception” and wonder what you are going to do.

If you are teaching this online course through CTL at UAF, you have a clear support structure to provide reasonable accommodations to this student, as well as resources to address these kinds of accessibility issues proactively during the course design process.

To help publicize and clarify this support, UAF CTL and UAF Disability Services have created a chart titled Who’s Responsible for Accessibility in Online Courses at UAF?

Responsibility for the accessibility of an online course is shared between instructors, CTL instructional designers and Disability Services. CTL and Disability Services are committed to increasing accessibility and empowering instructors1 in the design and accommodation process.

The featured graphic details these responsibilities and is available as a printable, accessible PDF.

PDF describing who is responsible for accessibility in online courses. Download the Accessible PDF at the end of this article.


1 Lederman, D. (2017, March). Understanding the Faculty Role in Digital Accessibility. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from

Further resources:
UAF Disability Services
Accessibility pedagogy resource on CTL
How to improve course accessibility with Blackboard Ally
Apply Universal Design to your course

Download the PDF for this Teaching Tip.  

Sean Holland

Sean Holland

Associate Director of Learning Innovation

Sean Holland

Sean Holland, MA, is an instructional designer and instructor in the UAF School of Education. He is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies.

Amber Cagwin, MBA, is Director of Disability Services at UAF and is a Certified Title III ADA Coordinator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *