Digital Accessibility

Digital Accessibility

As we become more comfortable using technology to teach and to learn, more and more vital course content is digital - word documents, videos, PDFs, and more. We have a responsibility to ensure that all materials we are sharing are accessible and usable for everyone, including people with disabilities.


All materials need to be represented and formatted in ways that can be accessed by people who have disabilities. Examples include: 

  • Providing captions or transcripts for recorded media 
  • Using headers and tagging to make documents navigable using a keyboard or screen reader
  • Being attentive to how you use color and ensuring there’s enough contrast between your text and the background of your web page or document


Usability means that a website or document is intuitive to use, easy to navigate, and has readable content. Designing with usability in mind is not only supportive to users with cognitive or psychological disabilities, but also contributes to a better experience for every user. Examples include:

  • Using a simple, consistent organizational structure
  • Organizing your materials by time period (i.e. Week 1, Week 2) or by material (i.e. Readings, Videos, Assignments)
  • Providing links to help documents or resources for support


Faculty Development is now delivering a series of workshops on digital accessibility. Their goals are to provide context as to why accessibility and usability are so crucial, and to teach easy steps to make progress towards more organized, more readable, and more inclusive digital teaching materials.

  • Digital Accessibility: A Practical Introduction on Why and How to Start 
    • Online: Mon, Jan 24, 2 - 3
    • Online on: Tues, Mar 1, 10 - 11
    • Online on: Thurs, Apr 14, 1 - 2
  • Digital Accessibility: Tips and Tricks for Your Class Documents
    • Face-to-Face on: Weds, Apr 6, 2 - 3
    • Online on: Tues Jan 25, 3 - 4
    • Online on: Tues Feb 15, 1 - 2
    • Online on: Fri Mar 11, 10 - 11
  • Digital Accessibility: Organizing Blackboard for Better Usability
    • Online on: Weds Feb 2, 10 - 11
    • Online on: Mon Apr 25, 4 - 5

 View our offerings and register to attend

Additional Support and Resources

Digital Accessibility at GW: this page describes GW's policies, standards, and best practices

Faculty Support from Disability Support Services

Accessibility Course Checklist for ensuring your course materials are accessible

Accessibility Checklist for the Digital Components of Your Course