Remote Learning Guidelines

Guidelines for Remote Instruction Delivery — Universal Design Principles and Accessibility Standards

As we offer more access to remote learning techniques and platforms, it is important to remember to design your courses using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and accessibility standards in order to preserve an equitable learning environment for all students.

Many platforms (Canvas, Zoom, Cranium Café) are relatively accessible with minor adjustments. Furthermore, these virtual technologies allow instructors to employ a UDL principle of delivering content in multiple ways to improve instruction for students with varied learning differences and cultural backgrounds. We anticipate numerous students (with and without disabilities) will struggle to learn in a virtual environment. By eliminating curricula barriers, you ensure the delivery of equitable learning opportunities. Importantly, safeguarding the accessibility of all course materials and making use of UDL principles will lessen the likelihood of discrimination complaints and lawsuits. To build a remote environment fitting for all students, please employ the following.

1. Caption all videos.

  • Make sure all videos, including YouTube and self-created, have correct captions. YouTube auto captions do not meet accessibility guidelines as they, so often, are incorrect. If you must utilize auto-generated captions (i.e. YouTube), it is imperative you confirm caption accuracy prior to uploading the video.
  • The Distance Education Captioning & Transcript (DECT) grant provides all California community colleges with funding for captions and transcription. Faculty who use the same videos every semester will benefit from this resource. For more information, see DECT in the “additional resources.”

2. Provide class notes.

  • Post and make available all PowerPoint slides for students to use as notes.
  • Post and make available lectures, readings, and presentations to which students may return and review. It is acceptable to unpublish quizzes and assignments to restrict access after due dates.
  • In ConferZoom settings, enable “automatic recording” and “audio transcript.” Upload the lecture transcript for student review.
  • Share various note-taking technology with your students. For example, Otter for education is free and available via app or website; it offers live transcription note taking.

3. Extend test/quiz time to 100%.

  • Provide double time on exams and quizzes for students who are authorized DSS testing accommodations. Visit Canvas to learn how to extend test times.

4. Utilize the Canvas integrated accessibility checker.

  • Each college offers an accessibility checker that integrates into or is part of its Canvas learning management system. This product allows faculty to check for accessibility issues and provides reporting to ensure digital content is accessible.
    • Cypress College – Ally
    • Fullerton College – UDOIT
    • NOCE – UDOIT

5. Work with your college DSS service providers during livestreamed lectures/courses IF you have Deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) students in your class.

  • Some instructors will choose to provide virtual live lectures utilizing ConferZoom.
  • If you have a DHH student in class who requires a sign language interpreter (SLI), you will need to provide the SLI entrance to the virtual lecture. DSS will coordinate the rest.
  • The SLI will interpret your lecture to your DHH student from a remote location. As you do in class, please speak clearly to eliminate interpretation barriers.
  • Some DHH students (or other disabilities) require live transcription services (via device with a remote transcriber). This process will be executed in the same manner as the interpreting services. You will need to provide entrance to your class. DSS will coordinate the rest.

While these guidelines represent a unified message from all NOCCCD DSS programs, each college retains its own and independent DSS processes and procedures for issuing and facilitating academic adjustments for students with disabilities. For specific campus DSS processes and procedures, please contact your college DSS office.

Celeste Phelps, Cypress College DSS Director
Dr. Eddie Roth, Fullerton College DSS Director
Dr. Adam Gottdank, NOCE DSS Director

Additional Resources

Amara – Do It Yourself Quick Captioning
Amara. (n.d.). Caption, Subtitle, and Translate Video.

ADA/504 Resources of Interest to Colleges
Interwork Institute DSPS Solutions. (2020). ADA/504 Resources of Interest to Colleges.

Applying Universal Design to Education
The Center for Universal Design in Education. (2020). Helping educators apply universal design to all aspects of education.

Canvas – Extending Test Time
Canvas. (2020). Extending Test Time.

Create and Verify PDF Accessibility (Acrobat Pro)
Adobe. (2020). Create and verify PDF accessibility (Acrobat Pro).

Creating Accessible Documents
California Community Colleges. (2020). Accessibility Center.

Creating Accessible Documents: Word to PDF
Dietrich, G. (2017). Accessible Documents: Word to PDF.

Cypress College Distance Education
Cypress College. (2019). Distance Education.

Distance Education Captioning and Transcription (DECT) Grant
College of the Canyons. (2020). Distance Education Captioning and Transcription Grant.

Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction
University of Washington DO-IT. (2020). Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction.

Fullerton College Distance Education
Fullerton College. (n.d.). Distance Education.

Guidelines for Creating Image Descriptions
American Anthropological Association. (2020). Guidelines for Creating Image Descriptions.

Make Web Content More Accessible
Utah State University. (n.d.). WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool.

Otter AI Note-Taking App and Website
Otter AI. (2020). Otter for Education.

Section 508 and Web Accessibility
Interwork Institute DSPS Solutions. (2020). Section 508 and Web Accessibility.

UDL Guidelines
Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). (2018). The UDL Guidelines.

Why We Need Universal Design
TED talk. (2016). Why We Need Universal Design.