UMKC Online’s Course and Instructor certification policies help UMKC meet nationally mandated accreditation and accessibility standards associated with online education. The three accessibility certification standards adopted by UMKC for Online Courses have been phased in since 2016. In 2018, our accessibility standards were amplified to meet the standards set by the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG).
Accessibility can be an intimidating topic. It asks us to analyze how we create digital files, identify areas for improvement, and remediate issues. For many, this means refreshing ourselves on how to use tools like Microsoft Word, Panopto, and Microsoft PowerPoint and eliminating our bad habits we’ve learned along the way. To help ease this transition, UMKC Online has prioritized accessibility training by improving online and face-to-face trainings.
If you haven’t already, check out UMKC Online’s new Accessibility homepage. This new website contains dedicated training spaces for all the accessibility guidelines we aim to fulfill. Each dedicated page contains a summary of the legal standards behind the accessibility guideline as well as the associated principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Check out the step-by-step instructions on how to best approach accessibility for each topic in addition to outside resources provided by accessibility leaders like WebAIM. Through these resources, you can learn how to use accessibility checkers built in to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Adobe Acrobat. Take a look at example documents that illustrate the difference between accessibility and inaccessibility. There is also instructional material on importing and editing captions for popular video platforms like Panopto and YouTube as well as information on alternative text for images, color contrast, and hyperlinks.
As a supplement to these online resources, UMKC Online has also launched a bi-weekly Accessibility Open Lab. There you can receive one-on-one accessibility training and practice making various types of documents accessible. You are welcome to come and go as you please.