Frequently asked questions

Why is it important to provide students with accessible online course content?

There are several reasons. In addition to Marquette being committed to providing an inclusive and diverse learning environment for our students, it is the right thing to do, it benefits all students, it helps students to focus on learning and it is required by law. To learn more about the importance of Accessibility at Marquette, please review MU’s Accessibility (or EIT) Policy.

What is MU’s goal for converting online course content to accessible format?

All new content should be created in an accessible format, with the goal of being 100% accessible before 2020 Fall Semester.  If you need assistance or would like to attend a workshop to learn more, contact the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

What resources are available to help me convert my online course content to an accessible format?

Each person creating online content is responsible for creating it in an accessible format.  There are several resources offered that can help you to develop the skills / knowledge required to convert your online content to an accessible format.  The Accessibility Resources webpage includes a list of resources offered to MU employees.

If students require special accommodations, why don’t students register with ODS prior to taking my course?

MU’s goal is to provide an environment where students can be successful in the classroom without having to self-identify as having a disability. All new students receive information that describes the services that are provided by the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and it is the student’s decision to use those services.

What do I do if a student notifies me that they need accommodations and the term has already started?

First, respect and listen to the student’s request.  Then, work with the student to contact ODS so that their experts can evaluate the request and the needs of the student. ODS will provide you with a written recommendation of accommodations.

What are the most common accessibility issues in online courses?

The most common issues are related to fonts (readability), images (alt text), and headings (navigation).

How does a screen reader work?

A screen reader reads the HTML code and/or the text that appears on the screen.  A screen reader relies on accessible “coding” to ensure that the user can navigate easily and that the user hears the content in the way that the creator intended. 

YouTube and other applications include a transcriber or automated Closed Captioning. Can I use my own applications to make those videos and audio files compliant?

There are a few answers to this question:

  • From a copyright perspective - Yes, but only if you own the content or have permission from the owner.
  • And, if you are willing to review the transcript to ensure that it is 100% accurate.  Note that most application transcribers run between 70 – 80% accuracy.

Can I modify copyrighted documents to an accessible format?

  1. No, most copyrights include the format of the content. However, many publishers that serve higher education are willing to give you permission to edit to an accessible format or willing to provide you with an accessible format that can be used in an online course.
  2. If you are in doubt, please review Marquette University's Copyright and Fair Use policies or contact your college’s librarian to understand the licensing for your specific resource.

If I add a link in D2L to a resource in Raynor’s e-library, can I assume it is accessible?

  1. No, each document must be checked for accessibility.  Raynor has a list of accessible databases that can guide you in your selection of resources.
  2. A general rule of thumb is that newer resources are typically accessible, but all resources still need to be reviewed. During the last two to five years, many – but not all - publishers have changed their formats to meet WCAG AA standards.

MS Office and Adobe products include Accessibility Checkers.  Can I use application specific Accessibility Checkers in lieu of MU’s Accessibility Checklist?

  1. No, application specific Accessibility Checkers are not comprehensive in their testing of WCAG AA standards.
  2. If you want to use an Accessibility Checker: First, use MU’s Accessibility Checklist, then you may use the built in Accessibility Checker to verify that all images and objects include Alt Text.

Have another question about the accessibility of online content?

Contact María Parés-Toral, Director of Online Pedagogy and e-Learning Production by email

Have another question about accommodations for a student?

Call (414) 288-1645 or email questions to Jack Bartelt who will respond promptly.