Developing an Online Course
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- All syllabi must include information about the process for requesting reasonable
- All students have the right to access digital content of a course so that
material must be accessible
- All students who may need reasonable accommodations should be referred to
the WSU Access Center (formerly the Disability Resource Center)
Technology in the 21st century provides for the creation of diverse and sophisticated
course content. At the same time, the flexibility and convenience of online learning
has made education even more accessible for people with learning challenges and
disabilities. Course design and navigation must not leave these students behind.
All students have a legal and ethical right to access all content in an online course
space and to participate in all activities associated with the online course.
For more information, read the
Introduction to Web Accessibility.
When creating an online course and using various online technologies (e.g., online video)
it is critical to not only comply with Web
Content Accessibility Guidelines but to intentionally structure a course to provide
individuals equal access to all content and to best accommodate assistive technologies.
The WSU Online team places ADA accessibility at the forefront of course and web
design by creating mediated content in alternative formats, for example, but does
not have the resources to do the same for third party websites or technologies utilized
by a course. Third party websites, like YouTube or textbook sites, and third
party technologies (e.g., e-readers) can offer various options for teaching and
learning. Instructors can use these third party websites or technologies as additional
resources, or as a major component of their course; where students engage with content
and with peers, submit assignments, and take exams. If it is decided to
use a third party website or technology, it is then the responsibility of the instructor
to work with the student and the WSU Access Center to ensure that the course content
Your course syllabus must contain information regarding the availability of reasonable
accommodation. An approved statement is available
All WSU Online syllabi contain this information.
The WSU Access Center is responsible to work with students to design needed reasonable
accommodations. If a student informs you that they have a disability needing
accommodation and/or requests an accommodation, you should refer the student to
the WSU Access Center.
Refer the student even if the student received accommodations from a previous school.
If the student already worked with the WSU Access Center to obtain a reasonable
accommodation, you should be provided a written form describing the accommodation.
You are required to provide the accommodation on that form. Contact the Access
Center if providing that accommodation is a hardship or materially alters the nature
of your course.
Additional information on student accommodations:
Accommodations Process and
Statement for Course Syllabus