Standards for Design: Part 37 – Accessibility Policies

Welcome to the thirty-seventh blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the second standard in the seventh general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Learner Support. This post continues our discussion about where students can get support for their online or hybrid course.

Standard: 7.2 Course instructions articulate or link to the institution’s accessibility policies and services.

Much like last week’s blog about having instructions or link to a clear description of the technical support offered and how to obtain it, this week’s standard is very straight forward. The accessibility policy needs to be in the syllabus, as well as a link and other instructions to those services. Please keep in mind that while this achieves the QM standard, it should not be where disability accommodations end in the course.

General standard 8 will discuss “Accessibility and Usability”. This is where we will go more in depth about making certain your course is designed in a manner that is not only accessible for students with disability, but also universally designed for all students.

To get prepared for the importance to Accessibility and universally designed courses, please take a moment at the legal side of universally designed courses.

Harvard and M.I.T. Are Sued Over Lack of Closed Captions” – Looks at accessibility of open courses like iTunes U and MOOCs.

Higher Ed Accessibility Lawsuits” – A rundown of Higher Education Accessibility Lawsuits. This only goes up to 2013, there have been more since. It is not just about captioning, but also the tools that are used in the course!

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

The ODEE Quality Matters blog can be found at the ODEE Quality Matters Blog


Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

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