Accessibility in Teaching and Learning (Best Practices)


Drake University is committed to providing resources for improving the accessibility of the teaching and learning services we provide. Improved accessibility supports usability regardless of age, ability, or situation.

About Accessibility

Why is accessibility crucial for higher education institutions?

Many students, faculty, and staff have challenges that can be barriers to their teaching and learning successes. This doesn't mean they aren't fully capable, but that they may have challenges getting equal access to the resources needed to be successful. By reducing barriers through improved accessibility, we are providing more equitable access to resources for ALL populations. As our campus environment increases online interactions, online standards and resources for accessibility will need to improve at an equivalent rate.

Developing Accessible Content for Users

Accessibility's primary concern is developing or providing accessible content. Resources are not considered accessible if the user needs to use additional accommodations (not including assistive technology) to access readily available resources. It is the responsibility of the content creator to create content that meets accessibility standards (WCAG 2.0). The WCAG accessibility standards for content are based on four basic principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. If you need further clarification about the accessibility standards, please refer to the WCAG accessibility standard resources.

Impact of Inclusion

By meeting accessibility guidelines for the most severe, permanent impairments and disabilities, we are improving accessibility for everyone. Accessibility levels the playing field so all learners can be successful. Designing for accessibility improves the practices for all learners, including short term impairments, language learners, situational (carrying something you can’t put down, being in a loud location, etc.), temporary (broken bones, recent surgery, etc.), or permanent disability (color blindness, hard of hearing, deaf or blind, or other physical disabilities). Accessibility is not equivalent to accommodations. 

Drake's Accessibility Resources for Students

Drake's Teaching Resources for Instructors

Developing Accessible Content

  • If you are creating accessible content, please refer to the Developing Accessible Content for Users section above.
  • A checklist for building accessible content for student use.
    NOTE: Drake University currently does not license Ally, thus the statements in the checklist about Ally are not applicable here.

Support Resources for Faculty and Staff

Drake University Disability Services

If you need further assistance, services, or accommodations, please reach out to Disability Services (a part of our Access and Success team).


If you have any further questions, please submit a Blackboard Learn Ultra Request and select the "Consultation" option



Article ID: 99291
Wed 2/26/20 11:40 AM
Tue 5/28/24 2:20 PM

Related Articles