Designing an Accessible Curriculum

Students with disabilities make up approximately 13-14% of the UM student population. Faculty members should assume that every course they teach has students with disabilities.

For Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students

Disability Services sends an email notice to instructors informing them that deaf or hard-of-hearing students have registered their courses for the next semester. This way, instructors can be aware that: 

  • sign language interpreters or captionists will be in their classes. 
  • the course materials (e.g., audio recording, video) have to be accurately captioned. If not, immediately contact Disability Services to receive captioning services. 

Design accessible curriculum for all students

  • Select textbooks early. 
  • Select media materials (e.g. audio recordings, videos, YouTube) that are accurately captioned. For non-captioned media, receive assistance from Accessible Technology Services. If the instructors receive a notice from Disability Services, they can use DSS's captioning services for their deaf or hard-of-hearing students.
  • Create accessible electronic documents (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF). Refer to Electronic Accessibility Guidelines.
  • Place accessible materials on Course Reserve or Moodle. Documents for electronic reserve or scanning services should be original documents or clean photocopies. 
  • Design Moodle content to be accessible.
  • Include an accommodation statement in the course syllabus.  
  • Announce to the students on the first day of the class that accommodations are provided upon students’ requests.  
  • Request Disability Services' verification letter from your students.
  • Make academic adjustments in instruction.