UDL and Accessibility

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework designed to remove gaps and barriers for students in their learning. By implementing this framework and using other accessibility tools, you bring equity to your course design. Universal Design for Learning provides a set of guidelines to offer multiple means of engagement, representation, and action and expression.

  • Contact the Online Developers if your department is looking for assistance in incorporating UDL principles into your online teaching. They facilitate department workshops, and provide one-on-one support. Take a look at the "Let's Talk about UDL" video series created by the Online Developers for practical tips on implementing UDL in your course;
  • Contact VCC Disability Services for up-to-date information on academic planning, orientation and learning assistance and services for our students with disabilities in specialized or regular programs;
  • BC Campus also offers a free Accessibility Toolkit

Moodle is designed to provide equal functionality and information to all people. This means that there should be no barriers for people regardless of disabilities, assistive technologies that are used, different screen sizes and different input devices (e.g. mouse, keyboard and touchscreen). However, it's still important that instructors consider accessibility when adding content, documents, and media to a Moodle course. Here are some tips for improving the accessibility of your Moodle courses and course materials. 

The A11y Tool

A11y is the tool we use in Moodle to accomplish two related aims: 

  1. Providing alternative accessible formats for students: A11y will generate a range of more accessible alternatives and will make these available to all students in the course. These alternative accessible formats include Semantic HTML, audio, ePub, and electronic braille;
  2. Highlighting accessibility issues as you create your course: A11y provides feedback about the accessibility of course materials and guidance on how to fix identified accessibility issues. 

See the course Creating Accessible Learning Resources section on using A11y (Checking the accessibility of your learning resources with A11y). 

Zoom, the live classroom/meeting tool, includes some accessibility features:

You can now add live captions to your Zoom meetings, as well as a live transcript. See the link above for details on how to enable this in your VCC Zoom account.

After a Zoom class/meeting is completed, the host can download a variety of files from their Zoom account under Recordings:

  • Shared screen with speaker view - the video of the class with the transcript alongside;
  • An Audio-only file in m4a format;
  • The Chat content in txt format;
  • An Audio Transcript - Audio Transcripts are saved in .vtt format. If you download the .vtt file, you can open it with a text editor such as Microsoft Word, Text Edit, or other common word processing applications.

Make sure you have the settings enabled in Zoom to capture these formats.