Student Disability Services

Click here for the Instructor Handbook

Planning an Accessible Course - Universal Design

Syllabus Statement

Please click below for instructional videos to create accessible content:

The University of Toledo embraces the inclusion of students with disabilities. We are committed to ensuring equal opportunity and seamless access for full participation in all courses. For students who have an accommodations memo from Student Disability Services, I invite you to correspond with me as soon as possible so that we can communicate confidentially  about implementing accommodations in this course. For students who have not established affiliation with Student Disability Services and are experiencing disability access barriers or are interested in a referral to health care resources for a potential disability or would like information regarding eligibility for academic accommodations, please contact the Student Disability Services Office by calling 419.530.4981 or sending an email to

Introduction to Universal Design

Tutorial on Making Your Online Content Accessible

Tips to Creating An Accessible Online Environment

Blackboard Ally

Inside of the Blackboard course site(s), instructors will find built-in assistance for making course content more accessible through a tool called Blackboard Ally. This tool provides accessibility feedback on a number of different types of content you may add to your online course including PDFs, Word Documents, PowerPoints, images, and more.  Watch this brief video for a quick overview: Overview for Instructors of Ally for Learning Management Systems and read more at Blackboard’s Ally Quick Start for Instructors.

When you upload a file into Blackboard you will see these icons appear after a short time:

 Practice Assignments: you can upload your practice documents for the assignments

Clicking the left “meter” icon will provide feedback on the accessibility of the item as well as provide guidance on how to improve it, if needed. This is ONLY visible to course instructors.

Clicking the right “A with a down arrow” icon will provide options for downloading alternative formats of the document automatically generated by ALLY. Some of the alternative formats can be more valuable for students with varying needs and learning preferences.  This icon is visible to instructors AND students.

There is also an “Accessibility Report” tool in the Course Tools area that provides a centralized place to review and work on the accessibility of all of your course content. More screenshots below.

 Course Management - Control Panel, Content Collection, Course Tools, Accessibility Report

Control Panel -> Course Tools -> Accessibility Report headings. Accessibility Report is circled in red.">

 Online Teaching Certificate Overiew: Remaining Issues

Textbooks in an electronic format through Student Disability Services

SDS Creating Accessible Text Quick Guide (.doc)
SDS Creating Accessible Text Quick Guide .(pdf)                                                           

Tutorials by File Type


Making an accessible PDF in Adobe Pro 11

Making an accessible PDF in Adobe Pro 10 and earlier

Techniques for Alternative Text for Images

Techniques for using tables


Making an accessible Word document

Captions/Audio Description

If you are using a video that is not captioned, contact the publisher and ask if there is a captioned version available. It is always a best practice to purchase captioned videos initially. Auto-captioned videos are not acceptable, all videos shown must be properly captioned. If you have videos and media that you would like to use in your course, please send them to or directly to Many videos captioned in multiple languages
Frontline-PBS (most are captioned) 
Fixing YouTube Videos (*Note*- YouTube captions are not a substitute for captioning videos and require extensive editing)
Accessible Videos- examples of captions, transcripts and audio description
Audio Description- Example of a video that is audio described

Enlarging Material

Guide to using a RICOH copy machine to enlarge classroom materials
Supporting Enlarged Text-from the University of Washington

Helpful Accessibility Resources

Adobe TV- Many tutorial videos on how to create accessible material. 

Planning an Accessible Event

  • Planning an Accessible Meeting
  • To ensure that all people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in campus events please use the follow disclaimer on all promotional material.

For an EVENT: If you have a disability and require an accommodation during this event, please contact (name of event coordinator) at (phone #). Accommodation requests may also be emailed to (email address) or faxed to (fax #).

Please Note: Some requests may take longer to coordinate than others, therefore advanced notice is requested and may be required to provide some accommodations.

For PRINT MATERIAL: This (pamphlet, brochure, playbill, etc…) is available in alternative format upon request. Please contact (department/college/office/) at (phone #) to make a request. Requests may also be emailed to (email address) or faxed to ( fax #).

Advance notice is required in order for the material to be available at the event. The amount of time varies on the format requested and length of the material, so please call as far ahead as possible.

DOJ Releases New Guide on Accessible Meetings
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently published a new ADA guidance on conducting accessible and inclusive meetings title "Accessible Information Exchange: Meeting on a Level Playing Field." It covers access to meeting sites as well as presentations, printed materials and other forms of communications.

Sign Language/Speech-To-Text

  • D/deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals use various accommodations to access the world around them. For some, American Sign Language (ASL) is their first language and they will request an ASL interpreter at events. For others, English is their first language and they may request speech-to-text. The disclaimer above is helpful because it gives the event organizer the opportunity to discuss what accommodations are appropriate for each individual. Listed below are some interpreter and speech-to-text agencies that we have used and recommend.

    • Communication Exchange-Speech-To-Text Transcriptionists and ASL Interpreters, 419.343.9321
    • Alternative Communication Services, LLC Speech-To-Text Remote Transcription, CART (Verbatim Transcription), Captioning Services-1.800.335.0911,
    • Professional Interpreters for the Deaf-419.517.3660 (ASL Interpreters Only)
    • Vital Signs LLC-Speech-To-Text Remote Transcription, CART, ASL, Interpreting, 301.213.5253,
    • KARASCH & Associates-Speech-To-Text Remote Transcription, Remote CART, Captioning Services,, 1.800.621.5689
    • INTERLINK,, 419.720.3935

Useful Links

(Content adapted from Case Western Reserve, 2012)

Last Updated: 7/2/20