ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL
Fresno State is committed to ensuring that all individuals experience a welcoming and accessible campus. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, sections 504 and 508, may be the most familiar federal and state regulations. Section 504 describes the civil rights of people with disabilities and contains the following statement: "No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of...disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Section 508 requires that electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.
Below are the primary resources for faculty members to support our efforts and ensure that we meet our responsibilities regarding accessibility. Please take the time to review the information provided below.
BEST PRACTICES FOR FACULTY
If you need support to ensure that course content and the learning environment is accessible, contact the Center for Faculty Excellence
- Use the accessible syllabus template, provided every semester by the Office of Undergraduate Studies. The Instructional Designers can help you make your syllabi accessible for all students. Templates for face-to-face syllabi and fully online/hybrid courses are available for faculty to use.
- Post your syllabus and course materials on Blackboard. Blackboard has been certified by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), but it is up to us to ensure our course materials are accessible.
- Order your textbooks for fall semesters by April 15th, and for spring and summer by October 15th. Early textbook orders ensure accessible texts will be available for students requiring alternative formats. Meeting the deadlines also helps students reduce the cost of their course materials and is part of the "Be A Hero" campaign at Fresno State.
- Ensure that PDF and Word documents used in your class are accessible and can be used with a screen reader. Sometimes the text is not text – it’s actually a picture – that is not vocalized by screen readers.
- Ensure that images have alternate text descriptions.
- Check that all videos used in class are captioned, and audio files have text transcriptions. Current practice is that anything uploaded to the Fresno State streaming server will be captioned. Faculty can also bring the video on a flashdrive to the Blackboard Resource Center in the Center for Faculty Excellence.
- Faculty are encouraged to review information about the CSU system-wide policy for captioning prioritization.
Accessibility for Learning & Teaching
Center for Faculty Excellence is committed to utilizing Universal Design in all major programs including eScholars, Teaching Online Boot Camp, DISCOVERe, as well as assisting faculty when working in Blackboard. Additional campus resources include the following:
- We offer hands-on workshops. Consider attending "Making Your Documents Accessible" to learn how to create accessible Word and PDF documents. Scheduled workshops can be found on the Faculty Support & Development > Hands-on Workshops page.
- You can review information and documentation on how to ensure that web pages are accessible.
- Faculty are welcome to visit the Blackboard Resource Center to post course materials in Blackboard.
- You can utilize Qualtrics to develop accessibility Surveys for research or course-related projects.
- iClickers is the standard classroom response system that is utilized at Fresno State.
- View Accessible Document Tutorials & Videos section of our website.
- For more information regarding Accessibility for students on the Fresno State campus, contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (http://www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/ssd/)
- CSU and other training resources California State University created tutorials and videos (http://teachingcommons.cdl.edu/access/docs_multi/index.shtml)
Additional campus accessibility information can be found here: http://fresnostate.edu/accessibility/
Note: Accessibility in Blackboard 9.1 continues to provide accessibility and usability of major workflows for users with disabilities. It also resolves some accessibility issues as well as introduces new features for those needing assistance.